Innovation in Learning: Critical Review of the Literature Is Absolutely Necessary for the Modern Medical Student

Cureus. 2023 Jan 22;15(1):e34055. doi: 10.7759/cureus.34055. eCollection 2023 Jan.


The concept of a journal club has been around for decades and is a useful tool to help teach residents about evidence-based medicine. Although some students may be exposed to the concept during their third or fourth year of medical school, many do not have exposure to this until their residency. This innovation report describes a program to help introduce first and second-year medical students to a team-based approach to journal clubs so that they can apply principles of evidence-based practice early on in their medical school training. In the Fall of 2020, a faculty and student effort led by members of the internal medicine and family medicine interest groups met to form a team-based program approach to the journal club focusing on first and second-year students. Teams of students were formed, and they were allowed to pick an article to review. They presented their findings to a group of students and faculty members via online meetings (due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions). This program has been introduced and done for two academic years. During that time, over 50 students participated in the program along with six faculty members. Countless students and faculty have been an audience to the presentations that have been done. The program is entering its third year of providing an engaging avenue for students to gain experience in analyzing articles and making presentations. The journal club program has and continues to be praised by faculty and students for its unique approach and style to a decade-old tradition. We recommend that medical schools and other health-science programs across the country consider introducing a program like this to help stimulate critical discussions in an era of increasingly published medical literature. It is critical that students be given a chance to apply evidence-based practices early on in their medical education careers.

Keywords: critical review; journal club; literature review; medical education; osteopathic medicine.

Publication types

  • Editorial