Teaching evidence-based medicine to medical students.
Education, Medical, Undergraduate
Given the proliferation of published studies and clinical updates, knowing how to use the literature effectively and efficiently is a necessary skill. Many medical schools in the United States are requiring courses in evidence-based medicine (EBM) in an effort to teach medical students how to distinguish high- from low-quality studies, how to interpret results from systematic reviews, and how to recognize flaws in study design or in methodology. The Department of Public Health of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, in collaboration with the Information Service of the Library, initiated a required EBM course in the first year of medical school. This four-week comprehensive course in the concepts and techniques of EBM focused on methods, study design and statistical analysis in assigned articles as well as on instruction in database-searching techniques. This report reviews the process of implementing such a course and factors needed to ensure the realization of its objectives.