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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Teaching evidence based medicine literature searching skills to medical students during the clinical years - a protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Dragan Ilic1*, Katrina Tepper2 and Marie Misso3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

2 Hargrave-Andrew Library, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

3 The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health Research Unit, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

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BMC Medical Education 2011, 11:49  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-49

Published: 28 July 2011

Abstract

Background

Two of the key steps in evidence based medicine (EBM) are being able to construct a clinical question and effectively search the literature to source relevant information. No evidence currently exists that informs whether such skills should be taught to medical students during their pre-clinical years, or delivered to include both the pre-clinical and clinical years of study. This is an important component of curriculum design as the level of clinical maturity of students can affect their perception of the importance and uptake of EBM principles in practice.

Methods/Design

A randomised controlled trial will be conducted to identify the effectiveness of delivering a formal workshop in EBM literature searching skills to third year medical students entering their clinical years of study. The primary outcome of EBM competency in literature searching skills will be evaluated using the Fresno tool.

Discussion

This trial will provide novel information on the effectiveness of delivering a formal education workshop in evidence based medicine literature searching skills during the clinical years of study. The result of this study will also identify the impact of teaching EBM literature searching skills to medical students during the clinical years of study.