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DEPARTMENT OF CLINICAL EPIDEMIOLOGY
College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila

Mission:

  • The Department of Clinical Epidemiology, guided by science and compassion, commits to promoting expertise and leadership in training, design and conduct of health research, and formulation and adoption of evidence-based health policy.
  • The Department brings together clinical medicine, health social science, biostatistics, health economics and other disciplines.
  • These efforts are intended to enable patients, their families and communities, healthcare providers, and policymakers to make informed healthcare choices.

Vision:
A transdisciplinary center of excellence in the teaching and application of clinical epidemiology principles towards achieving accessible, equitable, efficient, ethical and culturally sensitive health care for all Filipinos

Definition
Clinical Epidemiology is defined as the “study of groups of people to achieve the background evidence needed for clinical decisions in patient care.”  (White, 1996).  It must generate the best possible evidence from groups of subjects regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of various clinical courses of action.  It must also translate this evidence (or the lack thereof) into rational clinical decisions pertaining to the management of individual patients.  Clinical Epidemiology utilizes techniques developed by classical epidemiology, and adapts these to the study of individual patients.  It incorporates concepts from related fields such as Bisotatistics, Health Social Science, and Health Economics.  It deals mainly with the teaching of clinical research methodology and evidence based medicine.

Over the past 15 years, Clinical Epidemiology has gained tremendous ground in terms of achievements and popularity.  At least 3 textbooks bearing the title “Clinical Epidemiology” have been published.  Articles on clinical decision-making and the assessment of clinical evidence have been proliferated in both local and international literature.  Specific journals on clinical epidemiology have even begun to emerge and be used in General Medicine.  An International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) has been formed, facilitating the training of hundreds of clinical epidemiologists, across the globe, on the exchange information about doing and teaching clinical epidemiology.

History of Clinical Epidemiology
In the early 1980’s, the Rockefeller Foundation issued a call to major medical schools in the world to participate in a new initiative which would promote clinical practice base on the best evidence of effectiveness and the efficient use of resources.  The basic tool to be used was training of physicians in clinical epidemiology.  Subsequently, other disciplines of biostatistics, clinical economics and social sciences were introduced to comprise a more holistic perspective of health care.  The University of the Philippines College of Medicine was one of the first medical schools to respond to this call, and since then, it has been and continues to be the leading centers for clinical epidemiology in the developing world.

Training in the field of Clinical Epidemiology was initially started in the early 1980’s in three centers, in McMaster University (in Canada), University of Pennsylvania  (in Philadelphia), and the University of Newcastle (in Australia).  The Philippines was among the first countries in the developing world to send trainees in the field.  Training in Clinical Epidemiology involves completion of a Masters’ degree and a research project reported as a thesis report.  These training programs were funded directly by the Rockefeller Foundation and later, through the International Clinical Epidemiology Network.

The first Clinical Epidemiology Unit in the Philippines was established out of firm belief that epidemiological skills and concepts are important in training, service and research activities of a clinician.  The groundwork for its establishment was laid out in 1982 by Dr. Kerr White, then Associate Director for Health Sciences of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Dr. Ernesto O. Domingo, then Chairman of the PGH Department of Medicine.  It became operational in 1984 at the UP College of Medicine, and later became a unit under the Office of the Dean.

The training of specialist physicians from the various departments continued, later with the addition to the recruitment of biostatisticians into the unit.  The field later included the incorporation of Health Social Scientists and Clinical Economists.  With more graduates from other specialties, the CEU eventually became a unit under the office of the Dean of the College of Medicine.  In a short period of time, a critical mass had been constituted and they have since advocated the use of clinical epidemiology in research, education and practice.  The unit also hosted the Third Annual Global Meeting of the INCLEN in 1985 at Puerto Azul, Cavite.

The initial activities of the Clinical Epidemiology Unit included conducting research methodology training workshops, methodological and statistical support for research projects, and research evaluation.  With the increasing research training capabilities of the initial few Clinical Epidemiology Units, the Rockefeller Foundation and the International Clinical Epidemiology Network initiated and supported the expansion of the activities of select Clinical Epidemiology Units into Regional Training Centers.  These centers now can offer the Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology, as well as conducting the research methodology classes in both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Since 1992, the Clinical Epidemiology Unit has offered the Master of Science in Epidemiology (Clinical Epidemiology).  This is a joint program offering with the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the UP College of Public Health, which offers the Public Health Epidemiology track.  At the end of the program, the graduate should be able to generate and evaluate new information and technology relevant to his field of work.  The main support for the program came from the Rockefeller Foundation, International Clinical Epidemiology Network, and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.  The unit usually admits 10-12 students into its Master’s program every year.

For the undergraduate programs, the unit has been coordinating four Research Methods courses, since 1992.  Three Research Methods courses are conducted for 16 hours each in Year Level III, IV, and V.  In 1998, the unit was identified as one of the key players in the expansion and development of the Clinical Medicine master’s program of the College of Medicine.  The Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology, including a Clinical Statistics curse that was specifically instituted for these programs.

Objectives

  1. To train providers in quantitative and qualitative assessment principles drawn from clinical epidemiology, biostatitsics, health economics and health social sciences.
  2. To generate and provide relevant health research addressing the priority health needs of the Filipino people.
  3. To provide technical assistance in the evaluation of health needs of the country, identification of effective and efficient health interventions, rational allocation of resources and successful implementation and monitoring of health programs.

Organization of the Department
The Department is headed by a chair, assigned by the Dean of the College of Medicine.  The Chair is in-charge of the Department, and represents the department in all functions of the college and the university.  The Chair is also the Director of the Institute of Clinical Epidemiology.  The Chair is assisted by the MS Program Director and the Administrative Director.  The MS Program Director coordinates the various academic courses for the masters program.  The Administrative Director oversees the day to day fiscal and administrative matters of the Department.

The Department has seven (7) committees to achieve the milestones of the Department.  These are:  Committee on Faculty Affairs, Committee on Administrative Affairs, Committee on Research, Committee on IT and Facilities Development, Committee on Resource Generation, Committee on Program Development, Committee on Linkages.  There is a core faculty members assigned full time in the department, and a group of affiliate faculty members, from other departments, who also have teaching and other assignments in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology.  The chair, the MS Program Coordinator and the Administrative Director is supported by staff employees.  (see Organizational Structure).

Faculty and Resources
The Department of Clinical Epidemiology occupies four rooms of the Doña Paz Mendoza Building.  These rooms serve as the offices of the chair, the faculty members and the students.  The Department also maintains a library with subscriptions to journals on medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics, and health social science.  There is two working telephone lines with a fax machine.  The Department has its own private email and Internet accounts.  The Department also has its own audio-visual equipment, including a television, video tape recorder, slide projector, acetate overhead projector, opaque overhead projector, and mini-LCD projector.

The faculty consists mainly of medical specialists with training in Clinical Epidemiology with Masters degree.  Most of them have degrees from the international training centers mentioned earlier, and a few have degrees from the country regional training center.  Also included in the faculty are the Biostatisticians, Health Social Scientists (who have cross-appointment from their home colleges and social science departments) and Clinical Economists (who have completed the basic Clinical Epidemiology Masters, but with additional training in Economics).  The faculty members of the department are recognized resource persons in clinical research methodology, and in evidence based medicine.

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN EPIDEMIOLOGY (CLINICAL EPIDEMIOLOGY)

The UP College of Medicine and the College of Public Health are jointly offering the Master of Science in Epidemiology with 2 tracks (Clinical Epidemiology and Public Health Epidemiology) in Clinical Epidemiology.  It enables health professionals to successfully implement a health program or to deliver better health care to their patients through the application of the principles of epidemiology, biostatistics, clinical economics, health social science, health technology assessment and health policy making.  The program is also designed to equip clinicians with skills necessary to carry out and evaluate valid and reliable research on common health problems that they encounter.

  1. Objectives of the program
    At the end of the program, the graduate will be able to generate and evaluate new information and technology relevant to his field work.  Specifically, the graduate will be able to:
  1. demonstrate skills in the application of epidemiologic concepts and principles to the solution of clinical and public health problems;
  2. identify, plan, undertake, analyze and interpret clinical or public health research projects;
  3. deliver technical services to clinicians or public health workers on how to:

3.1       properly identify factors in disease causation,
3.2       evaluate the reliability and validity of measurements,
3.3       determine the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions,
3.4       plan strategies for disease control/prevention,
3.5       devise methods for evaluating health technology programs, and
3.6       provide guidelines for research activities whose results can be used as bases for health                        policy formulation;

  1. develop a critical attitude in evaluating scientific literature and information in the management of health problems;
  2. appreciate the roles of both economics and the social sciences in making health interventions more efficient and acceptable.
  1. Admission Requirements
    An applicant to the masters degree program should have (1) a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent degree or title from a recognized institution of higher learning; (2) high quality and integrity of intellect.  These qualifications shall be determined through a) examination of undergraduate credentials; b) recommendation of two former professor and/or recognized authority in the discipline or area of specialization; c) character reference; and d) interview with the applicant, or other appropriate means.
  • Immigration Requirements for Foreign Students

A foreign student may be allowed to enroll only if he has a 9-f visa (student).  In the case of a dependent of the Army of the diplomatic Corps, however, he must have one of these types of visa: (1) FGO; (2) 9-c; (3) 47 1-2; or (4) diplomatic passport.  A foreign student with a tourist visa (9-a) only will be allowed to enroll.

Upon receipt of the official letter of admission from the University of the Philippines, an accepted foreign student must apply for a student visa by submitting the following to the International Student Program (ISP), Office of the Student Affairs, UP Manila:

  1. photocopies of his scholastic records properly authenticated by the Department of Education by duly designated authorities in his country;
  2. accomplished Personal History Statement in quadruplicate (forms enclosed with the letter of admission); and
  3. affidavit of support.
  • Study Permit
    All foreigner students should secure a Temporary Study Permit from the ISP Office before registering.  Old students are required to submit a copy of grades for the immediate previous semester or a verification of their Immigrant Certificate of Registration (ICR).

New foreign students should submit photocopies of the following:

For non-immigrants:

  1. Passport which shows picture and number – 1 copy
  2. Visa – 2 copies
  3. Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) if visa is g-f-2
  4. Letter of admission – 2 copies

Graduation Requirements:
An applicant must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. He/she must have completed the required 26 units of courses with a minimum weighted average of 2.0 or better, provided there is no grade of 5.00 in any of these courses.
  2. Residency of at least one full academic year prior to granting of degree.
  3. He/She must have submitted a thesis and passed the oral defense.
  4. Submission of 6 bound copies of the thesis and duly accomplished clearance.

Note:
All the requirements should be accomplished within 5 years of starting the program.

Note:
The M.S. Epidemiology program is governed by the University’s general rules and regulations for M.S. Programs.

  1. Summary of Courses
    Core Courses

Bio 201                 Fundamentals of Biostatistics                              3 units
Bio 202                Fundamentals of Biostatistics 2                          2 units
                                                                                                            Total    5 units

      Major Courses
CE 201                  Fundamentals of Clinical Economics,                2 units

Health Social Science & Research Ethics
CE 211                  Fund. of Clinical Epidemiology                               2 units
CE 212                  Basic Research Methodology                                  2 units
CE 213                  Critical Appraisal of Med. Lit.                                  1 unit
CE 214                  Research Organization & Management              2 units
CE 215                  Synthesis of Research                                                 2 units
CE 217                  Research Design in Clinical Epidemiology         2 units
CE 218                  Ethics in Clinical Epidemiology                              1 units
CE 221                  Principles and Techniques of Health                    2 units
Policy Formulation
CE 298                  Independent Study                                                        3 units
                                                                                                             Total       19 units

      Electives
CE 207                  Advanced Clinical Statistics                                        2 units

CE 222                  Clinical Economics                                                          2 units
CE 223                  Informatics for Clinical Decision Making             2 units
CE 224                  Scientific Paper Writing and Presentation           2 units
CE 297                  Seminars in Health Social Science                           2 units
CE 299                  Social Science Research Methods in Health        2 units
Pharma 250        Introduction to Pharmacoepidemiology              2 units
CE 300                  Thesis                                                                                   6 units

Undergraduate Courses in the College of Medicine

Research Methods I
Course Description:  It is the first of a series of course imparting knowledge on the principles, elements and application of research methods.  Expertise on the basic sciences as a minefield of research ideas will be essentially provided by the different basic science faculty, while expertise on research methodology will be provided by the faculty of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology.

Research Methods II
Course Description:  The second of the series of research methods courses focuses on the concepts of clinical Epidemiology, the issues of abnormality, disease frequency, risk assessment, prognosis, treatment, disease prevention and chance.  The course also covers how these concepts are applied to decision making in medicine.

Research Methods III – Introduction to Evidence Based Medicine
Course Description:  This is a three-day course on “Evidence Based Clinical Decision Making” (Research Mehtods III).  The general objective of the course is to introduce to the students the concept of critical appraisal of the medical literature and applying the research findings to clinical decision-making.  The teaching methods in this course are plenary lectures, small group discussions, group presentations and hands-on medical literature search.

Clinical Epidemiology Research Elective
Course Description: This is a four-week rotation to the unit, with the student participating in a research project.  The different aspects of the research process, from proposal development, objective setting, planning and methodology, questionnaire design, statistical analysis, report preparation, health policy implications, use of evidence are studied.

Faculty Members

  • Marissa M. Alejandria, Professor
  • Ma. Lourdes E. Amarillo, Associate Professor
  • Nina Castillo-Carandang, Associate Professor
  • Cynthia P. Cordero, Professor
  • Godofreda V. Dalmacion, Professor
  • Antonio Miguel L. Dans, Professor
  • Leonila F. Dans, Professor
  • Noel L. Espallardo, Clinical Associate Professor
  • Mario R. Festin, Professor
  • Ma. Antonia A. Habana, Professor
  • Noel R. Juban, Professor
  • Hilton Y. Lam, Associate Professor
  • Mary Ann D. Lansang, Professor
  • Jacinto Blas V. Mantaring, Associate Professor
  • Bernadette T. Mendoza, Senior Lecturer
  • Corazon A. Ngelangel, Professor
  • Carlo Irwin A. Panelo, Associate Professor
  • Felix Eduardo Punzalan, Clinical Associate Professor
  • Laurie S. Ramiro, Professor
  • Roberto L. Ruiz, Clinical Associate Professor
  • Olivia T. Sison, LecturerAddress all other inquiries to: 

Department of Clinical Epidemiology
UP College of Medicine
Tel. No. (02) 525-4098
Email: updce@post.upm.edu.ph