Teaching evidence-based medicine: Impact on students' literature use and inpatient clinical documentation

Med Teach. 2011;33(6):e306-12. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.565827.


Background: Effective teaching of evidence-based medicine (EBM) to medical students is important for lifelong self-directed learning.

Aims: We implemented a brief workshop designed to teach literature searching skills to third-year medical students. We assessed its impact on students' utilization of EBM resources during their clinical rotation and the quality of EBM integration in inpatient notes.

Methods: We developed a physician-led, hands-on workshop to introduce EBM resources to all internal medicine clerks. Pre- and post-workshop measures included student's attitudes to EBM, citations of EBM resources in their clinical notes, and quality of the EBM component of the discussion in the note. Computer log analysis recorded students' online search attempts.

Results: After the workshop, students reported improved comfort using EBM and increased utilization of EBM resources. EBM integration into the discussion component of the notes also showed significant improvement. Computer log analysis of students' searches demonstrated increased utilization of EBM resources following the workshop.

Conclusions: We describe the successful implementation of a workshop designed to teach third-year medical students how to perform an efficient EBM literature search. We demonstrated improvements in students' confidence regarding EBM, increased utilization of EBM resources, and improved integration of EBM into inpatient notes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Computers*
  • Clinical Clerkship / methods*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / education*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval*
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Online Systems
  • Schools, Medical
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tennessee
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Young Adult