Using the Journal Club to teach and assess competence in practice-based learning and improvement: a literature review and recommendation for implementation

Surv Ophthalmol. 2005 Nov-Dec;50(6):542-8. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2005.08.002.


The traditional journal club has historically been used to teach residents about critically reading and reviewing the literature in order to improve patient care. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies mandate requires that ophthalmology residency programs both teach and assess practice-based learning and improvement. A systematically conducted review of the literature regarding the use of the journal club in resident medical education was performed to define specific recommendations for implementation of a journal club tool. Selected best practices for a successful journal club were gleaned from the existing medical literature. These include the following: 1) the use of a structured review checklist, 2) explicit written learning objectives, and 3) a formalized meeting structure and process. The journal club might prove to be an excellent tool for the assessment of competencies like practice-based learning which may be difficult to assess by other means. Future study is necessary to determine if journal club can improve educational outcomes and promote lifelong competence in practice-based learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Ophthalmology / education*
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States