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The epidemiology section of the Pediatric Critical Care Division provides epidemiological and statistic assistance to our faculty and fellows. This includes data analysis, data presentation, graphs and manuscript assistance, reviews etc. Additionally, we provide statistical courses and lectures for the CCM division and for the department of pediatrics combined fellow series.

Dr. Tom Spentzas will be teaching the "Use of R statistical software in medical research" course. R software is a system of multiple packages (pieces) for statistical computation and graphics. It was initially written by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman at the Department of Statistics of the University of Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand. Since then it has become the largest statistical software library in the world, and can be downloaded free of charge at

For many medical professionals, statistical software is not a ‘favorable’ course. “Sums of square” sounds exotic and modern “matrix algebra” induces fear and panic. However, with the help of a modern, friendly statistical package like R, students can be re- introduced step by step to complex analytical procedures. The mathematics can be replaced by a sophisticated language like R in a same way that elaborate medical tests can replace crude biochemistry teaching. The course will focus on practical application of R in the daily medical data analysis. It will include hands- on teaching examples and exercises.

Although there are no prerequisites courses necessary, it is based on the assumption that the student is familiar with simple statistics. The course is accredited for 2 hours. Although the course is an elective in the Master Program in Epidemiology, it can be offered independently for students who do not wish to go through the whole training at present.

For more cost and assistance information, please contact coordinator Elizabeth Webb (at (901)448-5118 or or Dr. Tom Spentzas (email

May 26, 2022