Fundamentals of Medical Decision Making [ESP70]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date


End date


Course days

Monday to Friday (5 afternoons)


Dr. Ankur Pandya

Course fee

€ 793


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL




  • Clinical Research


Go to the ESP website

Detailed information about this course:


Faculty: Ankur Pandya, PhD

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.


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 have interest 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, and those in health technology assessment or value-based healthcare.



Reduction on fees

PLEASE NOTE: This does not apply to the fee of the research master programmes (120 EC points)

No fees are charged for  Erasmus MC PhD candidates, provided they have an account in Hora Finita, the Erasmus University PhD registration system. When submitting the application, you can state that someone else pays your tuition fee.

In case of cancellation or no show, the cancellation policy applies based on the full course fee.


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

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