Publication Details

Ha, T. C. & Starmer, F. (2008). Investigative Methods and Tools: Developing an Integrated Approach to Critical Thinking, Evidence-based Medicine and Biostatistics. SGH Proceedings, 17 (3), 160-163.


Each day's work, whether a clinician, researcher or homemaker, focuses on investigative strategies and problem solving. Investigative methods and problem solving are rarely addressed formally in a medical school curriculum. Our goal with Investigative Methods and Tools was to convey to future clinician-scientists the skills to be able to confidently deal with information whether acquired from a patient, medical literature or in the laboratory. Our strategy is to convey to students major components of the investigative process including chasing curiosity, visualisation, modelling, experimental design and analysis. In addition, we depart from the traditional "jargon compliant" statistical vocabulary and focused on a more intuitive vocabulary. In this paper, we describe the rationale behind the development and implementation of a new course titled Investigative Methods and Tools. This new initiative is available for our students at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore. We outline the objectives and course contents for Investigative Methods and Tools, and highlight some of the unique approaches undertaken to bring forth a new, relevant and useful approach in conveying the central concepts underlying intuitive biostatistics and evidence-based medicine.