Introduction of Evidence-based Medicine into an Ambulatory Clinical Clerkship


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Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has emerged has a critical clinical competency in the 21st century. Medical schools usually introduce students to critical appraisal in the preclinical years, but there have been few evaluated interventions in teaching EBM in the clinical years. We describe a strategy to encourage students to practice EBM during a required ambulatory medicine clerkship. During this clerkship, our students are required to submit an EBM report, which is prompted by an individual case, and structured with a 5-step approach. One small-group session is devoted to modeling this approach with a case of chest pain. Using a checklist to grade 216 consecutive EBM reports, we found that students were quite successful with the exercise, achieving on average 89.6% of possible checklist points. Students who followed the structure of the exercise closely were more likely to extend their discussions beyond that required and to suggest potential further areas of investigation or design.