Increasing general practitioner use of evidence-based medicine in teaching and clinical practice through evidence-based journal clubs

Aust J Prim Health. 2021 Aug;27(4):271-275. doi: 10.1071/PY20267.


Learning evidence-based medicine (EBM) skills is now integral to university medical education. GPs who trained before the introduction of EBM in the late 1990s have identified a lack of training in this area. Evidence-based journal clubs (EBJCs) aim to promote the application of research evidence to clinical decision making. GPs meet regularly to develop EBM skills and apply these to questions arising in their clinical practice. Over 4 years, 47 GP clinical supervisors of medical students participated in a series of EBJCs offered by a university medical school. This article presents a qualitative exploration of their views and experiences. GPs noted that participating in EBJCs improved their use of EBM in clinical practice by making them more independent learners, facilitating consistent management approaches in group practices and aligning their skills in EBM with those of current students. Barriers such as time constraints and limited access to EBM resources were also noted, and GPs discussed strategies for managing these. Opportunities for GPs who act as clinical supervisors to increase their skills in EBM are important, particularly for those GPs transitioning from a traditional medical education model to an EBM model, as they role model highest-quality patient care to students, including the need for ongoing learning.