Systematic Reviews

EPI 214 Spring 2021 (1 unit)
Course Director: Stephen Bent, MD
Department of Medicine and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Instruction in the methods of systematic review: development of a research question and a protocol, identification of primary research studies, abstraction of data, determination of summary estimates, evaluation of heterogeneity, evaluation of publication bias, meta-regression, and subgroup and sensitivity analysis.

By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate ability to:

  • Design a simple systematic review and conduct a simple meta-analysis; and
  • Critique a published systematic review

Designing Clinical Research (EPI 202). Exceptions to this prerequisite may be made with the consent of the Course Director, space permitting.

Course Director:

Stephen Bent, MD
Phone: 415-221-4810, x3457

Lecturers: Ashok Krishnaswami, MD, MAS
  Evans Whitaker, MD
Teaching Assistant:

Leslie Suen, MD


Each week, new material is introduced via a recorded lecture and recommended readings. After beginning to study the lecture and reading, the class gathers for Large Group Discussion in which the lecture is briefly reviewed and students have the opportunity to pose questions to course faculty or prompt discussion on any aspect of the material. The recorded lecture should be viewed prior to this session.

Large Group Discussion:
Time: Tuesdays, 1:30 to 3:00 PM, March 30 through May 4.

The syllabus for the quarters dates and times for all activities.


Stata Statistical Software (Stata Corporation, College Station, TX) version 16 will be used. A six-month student license for Stata/IC is the least expensive option that will be suitable to complete all course assignments, but Stata/SE is recommended for robust future use. The TICR Program has arranged for a discount for UCSF-affiliated personnel.

All course materials and handouts will be posted on the course's online syllabus.


Grades will be based on total points achieved on homework (60%) and the final exam (40%). Late assignments are not accepted.

Students not in full-year TICR Programs who satisfactorily pass all course requirements will, upon request, receive a Certificate of Course Completion.

UCSF Graduate Division Policy on Disabilities


This course is sponsored by the Training in Clinical Research (TICR) Program, and space is limited. Preference is given to UCSF-affiliated personnel. We regret that auditing in the classroom is not permitted, but most of the course materials (with the exception of videotapes, answer keys, examinations, and copyrighted documents) are freely available (without formal enrollment) on the course’s online syllabus. Many students can glean the majority of the course’s content from this free access, but, importantly, formal enrollment also provides access to faculty for questions and individual-level extension of the curriculum, a community of other engaged students for in-person real-time discussion, and personalized correction and feedback on homework and projects.

To enroll in this course, please fill out and submit the application below. Please see our fees page for cost information. The deadline for application is March 19, 2021. Only one application needs to be completed for all courses desired during the quarter.

The application is best completed using the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

APPLICATION Information for how to pay;
please read before applying