Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Epidemiology: Pharmacoepidemiology

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Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics     Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Program Requirements

This program provides in-depth training for graduate students on pharmacoepidemiologic methods and the application of these methods to study the population effects (benefits and harm) of pharmaceutical products. Students will acquire the skills to become independent investigators and conduct original research in pharmacoepidemiology. Career opportunities for graduates are multiple and include work in industry, government, or academia. Students will be required to participate in the Pharmacoepidemiology Journal Club. Research topics must be related to pharmacoepidemiology and approved by the program coordinating committee.

Students admitted to the Ph.D. in Epidemiology; Pharmacoepidemiology degree program with the equivalent of the M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will be required to take a minimum of 28 credits of Ph.D. courses.

In addition to the Ph.D. requirements, students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program without the equivalent of an M.Sc. in Epidemiology at McGill will, in their first year, have to complete required coursework equivalent to the Master's Epidemiology program, excluding thesis course(s), as determined by the Department.

Thesis

A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Required Courses (25 credits)

  • EPIB 639 Pharmacoepidemiologic Methods (4 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : The objective of this course is to provide students with an in-depth review of the methods and principles of pharmacoepidemiology. Topics covered include themes related to the potential data sources, appropriate exposure definitions, the use of active drug comparators, latency and the application of lag periods, reverse causality, detection bias, methodological considerations in the assessment of acute versus chronic outcomes, new-user designs, healthy-user effects, and non-traditional study designs (e.g., within-user designs). In addition, the role of confounding and methods used to minimize its effects, such as the use of propensity scores, instrumental variables, and marginal structural models will be discussed.

    Terms: Winter 2018

    Instructors: Laurent Azoulay (Winter)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB-603, EPIB-621, or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

  • EPIB 654 Pharmacoepidemiology 4 (2 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : The utility of epidemiological techniques for the assessment of drug benefits after their marketing is presented. The course is composed of four parts: (i) methodology of Phase IV studies (efficacy and effectiveness studies); (ii) measurement of quality of life; (iii) evaluation of the economic impact of drugs; (iv) assessment of the effects of drugs and vaccines on the public health system.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2017-2018 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2017-2018 academic year.

    • Offered only in Summer term.

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 601 and EPIB 607 or permission of instructor.

    • Due to the intensive nature of this course, the standard add/drop and withdrawal deadlines do not apply. Add/drop is the first lecture day and withdrawal is the second lecture day.

  • EPIB 661 Pharmacoepidemiology 3 (2 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : In this course, students are confronted with real examples of pharmaco-epidemiologic problems. Flagship studies in pharmaco-epidemiology are reviewed in terms of protocol, design issues, data collection, statistical analysis and interpretation of results.

    Terms: Summer 2018

    Instructors: Samy Suissa, Pierre Ernst (Summer)

    • Offered only in Summer term.

    • Prerequisites: EPIB 631, EPIB 633 or permission of instructor

    • Due to the intensive nature of this course, the standard add/drop and withdrawal deadlines do not apply. Add/drop is the first lecture day and withdrawal is the second lecture day.

    • Due to the intensive nature of this course, the standard add/drop and withdrawal deadlines do not apply. Add/drop is the first lecture day and withdrawal is the second lecture day.

  • EPIB 662 Pharmacological Basis of Pharmacoepidemiology (1 credit)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : The objective of this course is to provide students with an indepth review of the principles of pharmacology which are essential for the design, analysis and critical appraisal of studies in pharmacoepidemiology.

    Terms: Winter 2018

    Instructors: Kristian Filion (Winter)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 633, or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

  • EPIB 701 Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : The comprehensive examination is a written examination. The objective is to assess the degree to which students have been able to assimilate and apply the principles of epidemiologic research. Examinations held twice yearly.

    Terms: Summer 2018

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2017-2018 academic year.

  • EPIB 702 Ph.D. Proposal

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : Essential skills for thesis writing and defence, including essential elements of research protocols, formulation of research objectives, the design, and strategies.

    Terms: Fall 2017, Winter 2018

    Instructors: Michael Kramer, Michal Abrahamowicz (Fall) Michael Kramer, Michal Abrahamowicz (Winter)

    • Note: Required for Ph.D. students.

  • EPIB 703 Principles of Study Design (2 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : This course will provide an overview of the concepts and principles underlying epidemiologic study design. Focus will be on the importance of appropriately formulating the research question, identifying the target population, defining the relevant entities, and on how these factors affect the validity of study findings. Examples from the published literature will be extensively used to illustrate the crucial points and will be discussed in class.

    Terms: Fall 2017

    Instructors: Olga Basso (Fall)

    • Restriction(s): Registration in the Ph.D. Epidemiology program, or permission of the instructor.

  • EPIB 704 Doctoral Level Epidemiologic Methods 1 (4 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : Estimation of epidemiologic effect measures and their confidence intervals in a variety of different study designs. Emphasis on analysis of sample data sets using regression models, graphical and tabular presentation of results, causal interpretation of effect estimates, writing reports for scientific publications, and sensitivity analyses for violated assumptions.

    Terms: Fall 2017

    Instructors: Jay Kaufman (Fall)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 603 and EPIB 621 or equivalent

    • Restriction(s): Open to Ph.D students in Epidemiology or Biostatistics programs only.

    • Not open to students who have taken EPIB 604.

  • EPIB 705 Doctoral Level Epidemiologic Methods 2 (4 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : The course has a conceptual and analytical causal inference perspective. The nature of specific study biases resulting in non-causal components in the observed association between exposure and outcome are discussed, including endogenous selection bias, measured and unmeasured confounding, and measurement error. Methods to recover the causal effect with such biases are presented. Causal mediation analysis is discussed. Models for survival analysis are discussed as well as the problem of- and some solutions to missing data. A brief overview of genetic epidemiology principles is covered.

    Terms: Winter 2018

    Instructors: Claire Infante-Rivard, Jonathan Chevrier (Winter)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 704

    • Restriction(s): Open to Ph.D. students in Epidemiology or Biostatistics programs only.

    • Not open to students who have taken EPIB 608.

  • EPIB 706 Doctoral Seminar in Epidemiology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : This course aims to provide an opportunity to students who have completed the Epidemiology course series in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, to optimize their training in ways that will be helpful to their thesis research and to the development of their career as epidemiologists. The content of this interactive course and the delivery of the material is primarily determined by students based on the knowledge gaps that they identify. The course will allow students to expand their methodological tool box, explore controversies in epidemiology, and gain experience synthesizing and communicating complex concepts to an informed audience.

    Terms: Fall 2017

    Instructors: Jonathan Chevrier (Fall)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 701

    • Restriction(s): Enrolment in PhD Epidemiology or permission or instructor.

    • Not open to students who have taken EPIB 609.

  • EPIB 707 Research Design in Health Sciences (3 credits)

    Offered by: Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Faculty of Medicine)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Epidemiology & Biostatistics : Lectures and discussions and student oral and written presentations with the aim of providing guidance and experience in the development of objectives, background and methods for both the formulation of, and the constructive peer criticism of, research protocols in the health sciences.

    Terms: Fall 2017

    Instructors: Christina Wolfson (Fall)

    • Prerequisite(s): EPIB 701

    • Restriction(s): Registration in the PhD program in Epidemiology.

    • Not open to students who have taken EPIB 623.

Complementary Courses (3 credits)

3 credits of coursework in biostatistics at the 500 level or higher. Courses must be chosen in consultation with the student’s supervisor and/or the degree program’s director or adviser.

Faculty of Medicine—2017-2018 (last updated Aug. 23, 2017) (disclaimer)