In addition to enabling members to keep abreast of the current medical literature, a journal club is an important forum for teaching research methodology, clinical epidemiology and statistics, as well as providing opportunities for training in clinical decision making and gaining critical appraisal skills. It can be used to facilitate an evidence based approach to problem solving, as a tool for informing guideline development and to enable an exchange of insights regarding clinical problems. It also provides an opportunity for social interaction. In this paper we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of journal clubs. We conclude that they are an important part of continuing medical education and that they can form the basis for positive advances in clinical practice.