Biostatistics 1 for Medical Science and Public Health

Biostatistics 1 for Medical Science and Public Health

taught by Abhaya Indrayan

Aim of Course:

This online course, "Biostatistics 1 for Medical Science and Public Health" covers sensitivity-specificity and predictive values of medical tests, confidence intervals, medical vs. statistical significance, and chi-square, Student's t and ANOVA F-tests, including multiple comparisons. 

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Apply Bayes Rule to diagnostic tests
  • Calculate the sensitivity, specificity, and positive/negative predictive value of a medical test
  • Calculate large-sample and exact confidence intervals for means, medians and proportions
  • Calculate and explain p-values
  • Explain the concept of statistical power
  • Perform the chi-square test
  • Apply Student's t-test to one- and two-sample situations
  • Conduct an ANOVA test
  • Apply the Tukey and Bonferroni corrections for multiple comparisons
  • Test for bioequivalence


This course may be taken individually (one-off) or as part of a certificate program.
Course Program:

WEEK 1: Probability in Health and Medicine

  • Medical uncertainties and probability
  • Elementary laws of probability
  • Bayes' Rule
  • Sensitivity-specificity of a medical test
  • Positive and negative predictive value
  • Effect of prevalence

WEEK 2: Confidence Intervals

  • Sampling distributions and SEs
  • Large sample CI for one-sample mean and proportion
  • Exact CI for proportion and median
  • Large sample CI for differences between means and proportions
  • Sample size for estimation

WEEK 3: Statistical vs. Medical Significance

  • P-value and level of significance
  • The concept of statistical power
  • Medical vs. statistical significance
  • Sample size for significance and power analysis
  • Chi-square test for simple situations

WEEK 4: Some Statistical Tests for Quantitative Data

  • Student's t-test for one-sample and two-sample situations
  • ANOVA for one-way and two-way tables
  • Tukey test and Bonferroni procedures for multiple comparisons
  • Test for medically significant gain and equivalence test


Homework in this course consists of short answer questions to test concepts, and guided data analysis problems using software.  In addition to assigned readings, this course also has supplemental readings available online, discussion tasks, and an exam.

Biostatistics 1 for Medical Science and Public Health

Who Should Take This Course:
This non-mathematical course is specially designed for medical and health professionals who deal with medical data and want to acquire some statistical skills. These include nursing, pharmacy, laboratory technology and nutrition professionals beside physicians, surgeons and dentists.
You should be familiar with introductory statistics.  Try these self tests to check your knowledge.
Organization of the Course:

This course takes place online at the Institute for 4 weeks. During each course week, you participate at times of your own choosing - there are no set times when you must be online. Course participants will be given access to a private discussion board. In class discussions led by the instructor, you can post questions, seek clarification, and interact with your fellow students and the instructor.

At the beginning of each week, you receive the relevant material, in addition to answers to exercises from the previous session. During the week, you are expected to go over the course materials, work through exercises, and submit answers. Discussion among participants is encouraged. The instructor will provide answers and comments, and at the end of the week, you will receive individual feedback on your homework answers.

Time Requirement:
About 15 hours per week, at times of  your choosing.

Options for Credit and Recognition:
Students come to the Institute for a variety of reasons. As you begin the course, you will be asked to specify your category:

  1. You may be interested only in learning the material presented, and not be concerned with grades or a record of completion.
  2. You may be enrolled in PASS (Programs in Analytics and Statistical Studies) that requires demonstration of proficiency in the subject, in which case your work will be assessed for a grade.
  3. You may require a "Record of Course Completion," along with professional development credit in the form of Continuing Education Units (CEU's).  For those successfully completing the course,  CEU's and a record of course completion will be issued by The Institute, upon request.
  4. You may need academic credit (see below). Upon successful completion, you will be issued a digital badge that contains verified metadata, describing the learning outcomes from this course and the process required to earn them.

College credit:
Biostatistics 1 for Medical Science and Public Health has been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) and is recommended for the graduate credit category; 3 credit hours in biostatistics when taken with Biostatistics 2. Note: The decision to accept specific credit recommendations is up to each institution. More info here.
Course Text:
The course text is Medical Biostatistics, fourth ed., by Abhaya Indrayan, which you can order from the publisher, CRC Press.



Course participants should have access to a standard statistical software package for use in course exercises, including obtaining CI's, performing tests of significance including two-way ANOVA and multiple comparisons tests, and producing ROC curves. Stata, Statcrunch, MedCalc and R have these capabilities, and "how-to" illustrations are provided in the course for those packages; teaching assistants can assist with those packages. JMP, SAS, SPSS and Systat also have these capabilities, but do not have supporting illustrations.

NOTE:  If you are continuing to other courses in the certificate program (PASS), be aware that MedCalc and Statcrunch will not have all the capabilities needed for analyses in those courses, in case you want to pick software now and stick with it.

For more information about obtaining free or nominal cost versions of standard software packages, click here.



January 03, 2020 to January 31, 2020 July 31, 2020 to August 28, 2020

Biostatistics 1 for Medical Science and Public Health


January 03, 2020 to January 31, 2020 July 31, 2020 to August 28, 2020

Course Fee: $589

Do you meet course prerequisites? What about book & software? (Click here to learn more)

We have flexible policies to transfer to another course, or withdraw if necessary (modest fee applies)

Group rates: Email jdobbins "at" to get information on group rates. 

First time student or academic? Click here for an introductory offer on select courses. Academic affiliation?  You may be eligible for a discount at checkout.

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