Purpose: To assess the utility and practicality of an evidence-based format in internal medicine attending rounds.
Method: Two randomly selected teams of residents and medical students in the internal medicine program at the Montefiore Medical Center participated in "Evidence-Based Medicine Attending Month." The process entailed the development of patient-based, searchable questions, a search for the evidence, the critical appraisal of the retrieved literature, and the application of the evidence to the care of the patient. At the last meeting, participants evaluated each case by answering three questions about whether the process (1) had changed the medical management of the patient during the admission, (2) had changed the way they would manage similar patients in the future, and (3) had informed them about the disease process in general.
Results: A total of 12 of 16 formal EBM questions were developed and assessed (75% completion rate) during the four-week period, in addition to the standard background literature reviews usually performed. Twenty-two articles were retrieved and critically appraised. The evaluation demonstrated that 50% of the participants felt the process had changed the active management of patients currently treated by the team, 75% reported that the process would affect the care of future patients with comparable medical problems, and over 90% believed the program had informed them about the disease process.
Conclusions: The formal EBM approach was conveniently implemented and enhanced the learning experience of the participants. It helped inform students' and residents' patient care at the time and their attitudes towards future patients. Hence, it is both practical and useful to perform formal EBM attending rounds.