Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources

Announcing: Open textbook “Epidemiology”

by Anita Walz, posted on January 10, 2024

The Open Education Initiative at Virginia Tech is pleased to announce the release of a new open textbook,  Epidemiology.

Epidemiology is a 156-page openly-licensed text by Charlotte Baker DrPH, MPH, CPH designed for medical degree–seeking clinical students without a prior background in public health. Using sports medicine and injury prevention examples and applications, it aims to provide students with the basics of epidemiology terms and concepts and is intended to guide medical school students as they prepare for the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) Step 1 Exam and to transition from student to clinician. 

  • – It includes an introduction to general concepts and terminology of epidemiology, study designs and their relationship to clinical questions, and the use of epidemiology in clinical diagnosis and screening of disease. 
  • – Concluding sections of the book present sources of errors in epidemiologic studies, including bias, confounding, and effect modification. 
  • – The book is notable for its use of accessible, inclusive figures and examples, and end-of-chapter study guides that summarize the chapter visually. 

CC BY NC SA license logo

The book is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike 4.0 license (CC BY NC-SA 4.0).

Instructors reviewing, adopting, or adapting this textbook are asked to please help us understand your use of the material by filling out this form

Table of Contents

      1. Epidemiology in Sum
      2. Measuring Things in Epidemiology
      3. Study Designs
      4. Diagnostics and Screening
      5. The Wrecking Ball: Bias, Confounding, Interaction and Effect Modification
      6. Study Guides

How to Access the Book

DOI: (PDF, epub, and other versions)
URL: (HTML eBook-Pressbooks)
A paperback print version (in color) is available for order at
ISBN (PDF): 978-1-957213-63-7
ISBN (Pressbooks): 978-1-957213-65-1
ISBN (EPUB): 978-1-957213-64-4
ISBN (print): 978-1-957213-62-0
The book is also listed in the Open Textbook Library, OER Commons, VIVA Open, and Merlot.


Author: Charlotte Baker
Managing editor: Anita Walz
Cover design and selected graphics: Kindred Grey

Author Biography 

Charlotte Baker, DrPH, MPH, CPH   Charlotte is the director of Epidemiology and Health Equity Lead at Truveta. She was formerly a member of the faculty in the Virginia Tech Data and Decisions Destination Area and PI of the analytic epidemiology I-SPY DATA Lab in the Department of Population Health Sciences in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. As a certified data nerd, her research lab and consulting efforts prioritize bridging the methodological and data gaps in sports injury research by using advanced statistical analysis and large data sets, especially to address disparities in sport and recreation caused by social and structural determinants of health. A former epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, her favorite use of data includes helping communities improve themselves, keeping kids safe when being physically active, and helping all of us to live our best (and healthy) lives no matter where we started.

Suggested citation

Baker, Charlotte (2023). Epidemiology. Blacksburg: Charlotte Baker. Licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.


Unless otherwise noted, this work is released under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY NC SA) 4.0 license which allows adaptation and redistribution with attribution for uses which are not primarily commercial. See the license terms and best practices for attribution for additional information.

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