An enabling competency of the school of medicine is to learn how to critically assess and apply biomedical information to develop a plan of care for core patient types.
To put in different words, this is the skill of keeping up with recent literature which is a critically important part of modern medicine. As you know the evidence for medical practice is constantly changing, one day calcium supplements are recommended and the next they are not. As a physician we all need to develop some method of keeping abreast of the medical literature. You need to find the method that works best for you. During your family medicine clerkship we would like you to experience one way of keeping up to date by receiving daily information feeds from either Evidence Updates or Journal Watch. We would like you to review these daily feeds and discuss these feeds with colleagues.
Sign up for at least one of the following "daily feeds" to keep up to date. On a selected feed you may want to limit yourself to 2-3 areas of interest so you don't get overwhelmed.
- Journal Watch. www.jwatch.org/ then register (top right hand corner)
- Evidence updates. http://hiru.mcmaster.ca/hiru/HIRU_McMaster_PLUS_Projects.aspx
Click on evidence updates in left hand column and then sign up to receive them.
On the evidence updates page you can see the most often read articles in the past 30 days.
When you specify your areas of interest don’t be too narrow for example if you just put radiology you will not get many alerts.
- There is an alerting system for those of you with iphones called blackbag. It has the advantage of being able to save the alerts and read them when you have the time. However it is drug company sponsored and so could be biased.
Discuss findings with others. We hope that the daily feeds lead to interesting discussions with your preceptors. We also hope that you share your reactions to the feeds with other students on the rotation.