Purpose: This evaluation study sought to assess the impact of an evidence-based medicine (EBM) course on students' self-perception of EBM skills, determine their use of EBM skills, and measure their performance in applying EBM skills in a simulated case scenario.
Methods: Pre- and post-surveys and skills tests were developed to measure students' attitudes toward and proficiency in EBM skills. Third-year students completed the voluntary survey and skills test at the beginning and completion of a twelve-week clerkship in internal medicine (IM) co-taught by medical and library faculty. Data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test for a two-tailed test.
Results: A statistically significant increase was found in the students' self-assessment of skills. Students reported using the journal literature significantly more frequently during the clerkship than before, although textbooks remained their number one resource. A majority of students reported frequent use of EBM skills during the clerkship. Statistically significant improvement in student performance was also found on the posttest, although the level of improvement was more modest than that found on the post-surveys.
Conclusion: The introduction of EBM skills to students during a clinical clerkship provides students an opportunity to practice EBM skills and reinforces the use of evidence in making patient-care decisions.