Training evidence-based veterinary medicine by collaborative development of critically appraised topics

J Vet Med Educ. 2012 Summer;39(2):111-8. doi: 10.3138/jvme.1111.112R.


In current veterinary education, skills such as retrieving, critically appraising, interpreting, and applying the results of published scientific studies are rarely taught. In this study, the authors tested the concept of team-based development of critically appraised topics (CATs) in training students in evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM). The 116 participants were in their fifth year and attending the clinical rotation at the Clinic for Animal Reproduction. Students developed 18 CATs of varying quality on topics of their choice. Preparing the CATs in teams stimulated discussion on the topic and the quality of the retrieved papers. Evaluation of the project revealed that more than 90% of the students endorsed training in critical appraisal of information in veterinary education. In addition, more than 90% considered the development of CATs an effective exercise for assessing the quality of scientific literature. A provided literature evaluation form was perceived as a useful tool for systematically summarizing a publication's quality. In conclusion, team-based development of CATs during clinical rotations is highly valuable for training in EBVM. Learning and intrinsic motivation seem to be enhanced by creating a situation similar to veterinary practice because the task is embedded into an authentic clinical problem. This approach to clinical training helps to prepare students to integrate evidence from literature into practice.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information*
  • Berlin
  • Education, Veterinary / methods*
  • Education, Veterinary / standards
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / education*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / standards*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Veterinary Medicine / standards