Background: It is recognized that clinicians need training in evidence-based medicine (EBM), however there is considerable variation in the content and methods of the EBM curriculum in UK medical schools.
Aims: To determine current practice and variation in EBM undergraduate teaching in UK medical schools and inform the strategy of medical schools and the National Knowledge Service.
Methods: We contacted all 32 medical schools in the UK and requested that the person primarily responsible for EBM undergraduate teaching complete a short online survey and provide their EBM curriculum.
Results: The survey was completed by representatives from 20 (63%) medical schools and curriculum details were received from 5 (16%). There is considerable variation in the methods and content of the EBM curriculum. Although the majority of schools teach core EBM topics, relatively few allow students to practice the skills or assess such skills. EBM teaching is restricted by lack of curriculum time, trained tutors and teaching materials.
Conclusions: Key elements to progress include the integration of EBM with clinical specialties, tutor training and the availability of high-quality teaching resources. The development of a national undergraduate EBM curriculum may help in promoting progress in EBM teaching and assessment in UK medical schools.