Understanding and Reporting Statistics in Medicine

EASE Training Course, led by Tom Lang

This series of four online training modules will introduce participants to the most common statistical procedures used in clinical research. Intended for medical writers and editors with little to no background in statistics (and perhaps a great fear of the topic), the modules cover only basic statistical terms, concepts, reasoning, and reporting characteristics of the more common procedures.

Tom is not a statistician and does not teach statistics in the usual sense of the subject. The modules do not include any maths, calculations, discussion of probability theory, or other topics related to calculating statistics. Instead, it focuses on how to recognize, critique, and query statistical information in reports of biomedical research.

Course content

Each of the four online modules will last for 90 minutes and address the following topics:

  • Variables, descriptive statistics, estimates, and confidence intervals
  • Hypothesis testing (P values and statistical power)
  • Association (including measures of risk), correlation, and regression analyses
  • Performance characteristics of diagnostic tests.

Although it is best to complete all the modules, each is more-or-less independent of the others and can be taken without completing earlier modules.

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for new or experienced scientific writers and editors with little or no background in statistics. The course is oriented toward biostatistics and clinical medicine, but the concepts apply to many other scientific fields, especially in the life and social sciences.


Download course brochure

About the trainer

Thomas A Lang

Principal, Tom Lang Communications & Training InternationalUnited States

Read more


We are planning to run this course in the Autumn of 2024. If you are interested and would like to be contacted when the dates are set please add your name and contact details to the mailing list.


EASE members – £35 per module, complete course £140
Non-members – £55 per module, complete course £220

Reference materials

The course can be supplemented with four references:

  1. How to Report Statistics in Medicine, by Tom Lang and Michelle Secic, is the primary source material for the course. It’s available from the publisher, the American College of Physicians, in print and electronic versions. Various versions available from Amazon from £10
  2. The lectures are also presented in a booklet titled, Understanding Statistics in Medicine, available from Lulu.com, which is web-based print-on-demand publisher.
  3. The SAMPL guidelines for statistical reporting (Statistical Analyses and Methods in the Published Literature), available for free on the EQUATOR-network site. Also based on How to Report, these guidelines were developed to be included in a journal’s instructions for authors and so are shorter and more limited by design.
  4. Participants with be provided with full handouts of the slides used in module.