PHPM 574 Forensic Epidemiology

Instructor(s): Michael D. Freeman, PhD, MPH, DC

Course Description This class has 3 goals; to give students with an overview of how epidemiology is used in the courts, to present the epidemiology of traumatic injury, and to demonstrate, often with case study, how the forensic and trauma epidemiology are interwoven using primarily Bayesian methods. Students are provided with an overview of morbidity and mortality resulting from traumatic injury, focusing primarily on the three major causes of significant injury: motor vehicle crashes, suicide, and homicide. Injuries will be examined from a multi-faceted perspective; for every category of injury we will discuss causes, potentiating factors, injury mechanisms (biomechanics), the technological history of the mechanism (when applicable), causes of death and disability associated with the injury, all of which must be understood in order to describe the epidemiology of the injury. Forensic Epidemiology is concerned with specific (individual) causation, and thus the FE section of the class will be devoted to how epidemiologic inferences, methods and data are used in the forensic setting to apply to individuals, primarily with reference to trauma epidemiology, but also with regard to other applications as well, including "toxic tort" issues. The forensic section of the class is intended to prepare present and future physicians and scientists for critical thinking and a systematic approach to decision making in forensic settings.

Credits 2

Term Offered Winter

Prerequisite 512 Epidemiology I (may be waived with instructor approval)