Learning R:

A Guide for Clinician Scientists


The resources on this page are intended for clinician scientists who want to learn R.  Clinicians (i.e., nurses, physicians, psychologists, etc.) have an educational background and work experience that doesn't typically include programming knowledge.  Therefore, I started a weekly workshop that is a more gentle introduction into R that uses terminology and examples more familiar to clinicians.  By using healthcare examples and working as a group, I expect learners will more quickly conquer R's steep learning curve.  Ultimately, I hope clinicians become more efficient in their scholarly work and have a greater appreciation for what's possible with informatics and statistics.  


For the most current versions of files, check out my GitHub page


Getting Starting (PDF) - Instructions for downloading, installing, & getting started with R and RStudio.  

Support Dataset (Data) - I frequently refer to Dr. Frank Harrell's 'support' data, which can be found in it's original version here or by typing getHdata(support) in R when connected to the internet.  The version included on my page is provided for those who need to download the file prior to attending our R session.  

Markdown Reports (RMD) - Includes a Markdown (.rmd) file for creating basic reports that can be provided to others in an easy-to-read format.  

Data Wrangling: Basic to Intermediate (PDF | RMD) - Manipulating and preparing data for analysis.  


Practice Problems

Basic Functions to Get Started (PDF | RMD) - Practice problems beginning with some very basic functions.  

Object Manipulation: Basic R Skills (PDF | RMD) - Practice problems using some more basic R functions.  

Data Wrangling & Analysis (PDF | RMD) - Practice with wrangling & some basic tests of inference.  


Advanced Topics

String Manipulation with regex (R file) - Introduction to classifying and extract a subset of text.  

Create Fake Data (R file) - Used to create simulated data for in-class manipulation rather than needing to download data files.  

Data Wrangling: Intermediate (RMD) - Includes a Markdown file for more complex data wrangling.  Unfortunately, the data are not included here due to the sensitivity of the data provided by attendees.  


Other Resources

Here are a few resources I've found helpful in my own journey learning R.  There are many great resources out there, and I don't necessarily recommend any resources over others.  

Several Courses in the Data Science Specialization from Coursera

An Introduction to Statistical Learning (James, Witten, Hastie, & Tibshirani) - a textbook with a free PDF download and even affiliated with a free, online course from Stanford