Sunday, November 06, 2005

Learning evidence based medicine by doing

I’ve commented before on the gap between the theory and practice of evidence based medicine. New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University has developed a unique method of teaching EBM to emergency medicine residents which may help bridge the gap. A series of two hour EBM exercises has been incorporated into the curriculum. The sessions, entitled “Evidence Detectives”, consist of a case presentation followed by a supervised exercise in all the steps of EBM, including question formulation (using the PICO format), “live” on line searching, critical appraisal and article selection, and finally discussion of applicability to the case at hand.

This project, in the early stages of development, impresses me as a wonderful way to teach the essential skills of EBM. I would like to see CME workshops of this type for practicing physicians.

In order to carve out time for the sessions some of the more traditional aspects of the curriculum were cut, with elimination of the traditional journal club and less time for didactics. (The elimination of the journal club concerns me. I’ve already blogged on the importance of “background reading”).

The project was reported in a recent issue of Academic Emergency Medicine.

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