An update on biostatistics requirements in U.S. medical schools

Stephen W. Looney, Christopher S. Grady, R. Prasaad Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose. To update the results of previous surveys of medical schools in the United States concerning their courses in introductory biostatistics and to acquire additional information about these courses. Method: In 1993, the authors sent a questionnaire to each of the 125 U.S. medical schools listed in the 1992-93 AAMC Directory of American Education. The questionnaire sought information about biostatistics courses and the subjects covered therein. Results. One hundred of the 125 medical schools (80%) responded to the survey. Of those, 74 required a course in biostatistics as part of their undergraduate medical curriculum. The courses had large enrollments (median, 134) and a median of only 20 hours of instructional time. Most courses included a large amount of material, with 25 possible topics covered by at least 75% of the schools with required courses. Conclusion. While efforts have been made to incorporate innovative instructional techniques into these courses, most still follow the traditional lecture format and make minimal use of computers. Nevertheless, medical students appeared to have a favorable attitude toward these courses at over half of the schools surveyed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-94
Number of pages3
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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