To help others in teaching statistics using the Stata software
This presentation will discuss the issues involved with teaching statistics with Stata to physicians in a MS program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM). The Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at AECOM is a 2-year course of study for physicians wishing to earn a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research Methods. The program has two complementary components: a) didactic program with emphasis on epidemiology, biostatistics, study design, and ethics, and b) a mentored clinical research experience. Since its beginning in 1998, basic statistics was taught using the SPSS statistical software. SPSS was felt to be easy to teach and learn because of the "pull-down" menus. However as students advanced, SPSS was found to be too limited in its application to their clinical research. In particular, Stata has the capability to perform multinomial and ordinal logistic regressions, frailty models for multivariate survival analysis (semi-parametric and parametric), and immediate commands - all of which SPSS does not. This summer, Stata Version 8 will be taught to CRTP students for the first time. Our experience with the new Stata has convinced us that Stata Version 8 will be easy to learn and use with the addition of "pull-down" menus. The fact that the instructors teaching statistics with Stata come from very different backgrounds will make this an interesting challenge. The senior instructor has had extensive experience using SPSS and is a relative newcomer to Stata. The other instructor has had extensive experience using Stata, but with expertise in writing Stata programs (and is unfamiliar with using the "pull-down" menus available in version 8). This presentation will discuss the course changes planned in converting to Stata, as well as the successes and failures of teaching statistics with Stata to physicians in a MS program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
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