Characteristics of clinical information-searching: investigation using critical incident technique

J Med Educ. 1983 Nov;58(11):873-81.


A total of 293 medical students, residents, and physicians were surveyed concerning their everyday information needs and the resources used to address these needs. The results of this study were used to identify goals of information-searching education for medical students. The participants' heavy reliance on their personal libraries, their basing their first choice of resource on physical convenience, and their need to obtain information quickly document the need to educate students in organizing and maintaining personal libraries and reprint files. In this study, the authors found that familiarity with a resource is often the basis of the choice of the resource and identified different types of information needs. These results revealed the need to educate medical students to be able to use the characteristics of the information problem to tailor information-search strategy to retrieve information expeditiously from a variety of resources outside the personal library.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Humans
  • Information Services*
  • Internship and Residency
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Physicians
  • Reference Books
  • Research*
  • Students, Medical