Rational Medical Decision Making: A Case-Based Approach by Goutham Rao

Rational Medical Decision Making: A Case-Based Approach

byGoutham Rao

Paperback | December 8, 2006

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All the key principles of medical decision-making-in one compact, case-based guide

"The book provides a comprehensive overview of many core principles in research design and analysis. It is logically organized, with clear learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter and pertinent examples to illustrate key concepts. The author does a wonderful job of simplifying a subject that has caused much confusion for many medical students and physicians....This is a book that I would enthusiastically recommend to other medical students. 5 Stars!"--Doody's Review Service

Rational Medical Decision Making: A Case-Based Approach is a hands-on text that clarifies the process of evidence-based medical decision making like no other source.

Following the trusted LANGE format, this portable volume is ideal for learning the fundamentals of evidence-based medical practice and skills. Whether you are a student, resident, or a clinician, here is where you'll find all the right tools-including case studies, learning objectives, and self-assessment exercises-to take your decision making skills to the next level.


  • Full-spectrum coverage, from basic statistics, medical literature interpretation, and statistics and data application, to different types of research methodologies
  • Case-based orientation in each chapter, featuring cases designed to highlight the important principles discussed in that chapter
  • Focus on learning critical evidence-based medicine concepts, such as Positive Predictive Values, Number-Needed-to-Treat Statistics, Pre Test Probability, Sensitivity and Specificity, and more
  • Engaging discussion of research methods in the context of diagnosis- and therapeutics-centered studies
  • An overview of the construction and evidentiary basis of Clinical Practice Guidelines, with a look at their definition, purpose, and use in aiding patient care decisions
  • “Anatomy of a Research Article” chapter that goes beyond the interpretation of medical literature to describe the process through which articles are published
  • About The Author

    Goutham Rao, MD, Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics & Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Dr. Rao teaches the first year course Introduction to Medical Decision Making, from which this text is drawn. He is Director of Predoctoral Education, and Director of Medical Information Technology, at St M...
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    Details & Specs

    Title:Rational Medical Decision Making: A Case-Based ApproachFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:December 8, 2006Publisher:McGraw-Hill EducationLanguage:English

    The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

    ISBN - 10:0071463976

    ISBN - 13:9780071463973

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    Extra Content

    Table of Contents

    1"A History Lesson"

    To provide a historical perspective on the development of original medical literature as we know it today.

    .History of first medical papers

    .History of The Lancet

    .How and why the medical literature has grown

    2"Searching for the Right Stuff"

    To provide skills in searching electronic databases and other resources for the best available evidence.

    .Organization of Medline

    .Searching Medline

    .Accessing and searching evidence-based medicine databases

    .Searching the Internet for the best available evidence

    3"Anatomy of a Research Article"

    To provide an overview of the structure of most original medical research articles and to describe the process through which articles are published

    .Basic structure of research articles and the purpose of each component

    .Principles of peer review, editorial freedom and author confidentiality

    .Types of research articles and journalsThree

    4A Statistics Primer

    To provide an overview of essential descriptive & comparative statistics for practicing physicians

    .Basic, descriptive statistics

    .Normal and other distributions

    .Samples & populations

    .Principles of comparative statistics

    .Principles underlying all tests of significance

    5Diagnostic Reasoning

    To provide an overview of how doctors think about diagnosis, how diagnostic tests are developed and evaluated, and how studies about diagnostic tests should be evaluated

    .Psychology of medical diagnosis

    .Developing and assessing a new diagnostic test

    .Tools for evaluating diagnostic tests (sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, likelihood ratios, Bayes Theorem, ROC curves)

    6Studying Therapies

    To provide an overview of how new therapies are evaluated (including different research designs and summary and analysis of results)

    .Elements of "sound" clinical questions

    .Research designs used to evaluate new therapies (including Bayesian designs)

    .Analysis of results of new therapies (p values, confidence intervals, etc.)

    7Risk & Prognosis

    To provide an overview of how doctors and patients think about risk and prognosis and how risk and prognosis are systematically evaluated

    .Measures of risk

    .Study designs used to assess risk

    .Patient preferences with respect to risk

    .Measures of prognosis (i.e. survival curves, etc.)

    8Systematic Reviews

    To provide an overview of the principal characteristics and usefulness of qualitative and quantitative (meta-analyses) systematic reviews.

    .Definitions of qualitative & quantitative systematic reviews

    .The Cochrane Collaboration

    .Principles of meta-analyses

    .Interpretation of systematic reviews

    9Decision AnalysisTo provide a basic overview of the design and interpretation of decision analyses

    .Definition and purpose of decision analysis

    .Interpretation of decision analyses

    10Clinical Practice Guidelines

    To provide an overview of the purpose, development and use of clinical practice guidelines

    .Definition and purpose of clinical practice guidelines

    .Steps in development of "sound" clinical practice guidelines

    .Use of guidelines to aid in patient care decisions

    11Qualitative Research

    To provide an overview of qualitative methods to address questions of importance to physicians and patients

    .Definition of qualitative research

    .Summary of qualitative research methods

    .How to use qualitative research in patient care decisions


    .Answers to problems.Glossary of terms

    Estimate of total number of pages excluding index: 220