Fundamentals of Medical Decision Making [ESP70]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date


End date


Course days

Monday to Friday (5 afternoons)


Prof. John Wong

Course fee

€ 740






  • Clinical Research


Go to the ESP website

Detailed information about this course:


Faculty: Prof. John Wong, MD

This course will provide an introduction to health care decision making. Given uncertainty, trade-offs and values, how should patients, policymakers and clinicians decide among diagnostic and therapeutic choices to make optimal decisions? Medical interventions may have benefits but also adverse effects, e.g., undesirable complications or false or inconclusive results.

Clinical and health policy decisions necessitate weighing benefits and harms and trading off competing objectives (life expectancy, quality of life, costs). We will discuss a proactive approach involving decision analysis to integrate evidence and values for optimal and efficient care choices in the face of uncertainty.

Course content includes interpretation of clinical data and test results, testing and treatment thresholds, estimating prognosis, decision tree construction (e.g., Markov models and Monte Carlo simulations), life expectancy, quality of life assessment, cost-effectiveness analysis, health technology assessment, diagnostic reasoning, and shared decision making.

Teaching methods: Interactive lectures, breakout group discussions and exercises.

//Please note that the course information is subject to change and will be updated from time to time. We will do our utmost best to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information on this website.//


The student is able to:

  • Apply a systematic rational approach to decision making in health care
  • Experience patient-centered clinical decisions based on evidence and preferences
  • Recognize the role of uncertainty in testing and treatment decisions
  • Assess, value and weigh benefits and harms in medical decision making
  • Describe how to consider economic costs in health care policy decisions

Participant profile

Those in clinical care, health research, quality improvement, technology assessment, academia, health industry, or government who interested in learning how to improve the process by which medical decisions are made in clinical practice for individuals and in health policy for populations, including clinical researchers, clinical epidemiologists, decision scientists, public health or public policy researchers or administrators, those in health technology assessment or value-based healthcare.



Reduction on fees


No fees are charged for participation of Erasmus MC PhD candidates

Please note that in case of cancellation or no show, the cancellation policy applies based on the full course fee.

50% reduction on our fees for participating institutes of NIHES

This 50% reduction is offered to participants formally appointed at the departments or sections participating in NIHES.

University Medical Center Rotterdam/Erasmus University Rotterdam:

  • Department of Epidemiology
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Psychiatry, Section of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy
  • Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology
  • Department of Medical Informatics
  • Department of General Practice
  • Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management
  • Generation R

50% reduction on our fees for NIHES affiliated partners

This 50% reduction is offered to participants formally appointed at the following NIHES affiliated partners:

University Medical Center Rotterdam/Erasmus University Rotterdam, departments of:

  • Dermatology
  • General Paediatrics
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Rehabilitation Medicine

UMIT, Department of Public Health, Health Services Research and Health Technology Assessment.

25% reduction on our fees for Erasmus MC employees

For participants formally appointed at all departments of Erasmus MC (except the departments mentioned above and Erasmus MC PhD candidates).

25% reduction for all (international) PhD students without formal appointment at Erasmus MC

Upon receipt of your application you will receive a request to upload proof of enrollment as a PhD student.