Journal Club- Last Thursday during G&G
On a monthly basis, fellows are required to attend an evidence-based journal club, located at the South
Texas Veterans Health Care System. Fellows are required to present at these sessions at least once a
year. In preparation to present the journal club session, fellows are assigned to a mentoring faculty
member at the beginning of the academic year.
The journal club mentor and fellow meet prior to the session to complete the following process:
1) Choose a geriatric medicine or palliative care case with a question to be answered by scientific
studies (a) locating information);
2) Perform an electronic review of the current literature and help from the Medical School Library
is always available (b) using information technology);
3) Choose a pertinent article and decide how pertinent and clinically applicable is (c) appraise
4) Prepare a case presentation followed by a systematic review of chosen article (d) assimilating
The article is given in advance to all attendants who include faculty, medical students and
interdisciplinary team members. A lively discussion follows the fellow’s presentation and faculty gears
the discussion towards the applicability of each article towards patient care (e) applying information to
There are three general goals of journal club:
1) To learn some of the basic concepts in evidence-based medicine
2) To learn to read the medical literature critically
3) To learn to apply the medical literature to every-day patient care
You should provide a concise summary of the article you chose followed by your critical discussion of the
important features of the study, data and conclusions. The “Users' Guide to the Medical Literature”
should serve as a resource for this critical discussion (Available from the AMA website http://pubs.ama-
assn.org/misc/usersguides.dtl ). In addition to reviewing the study design, analyses, and conclusions,
you should also quantitatively assess the data, ensuring that the numbers presented are accurate and
estimating useful “summary data” such as “number needed to treat” and “relative risk reduction”.
Please, keep in mind you are not responsible for a detailed analysis of each statistical tool used in the
paper. Rather, you should have a more general sense of the articles strengths and weaknesses.
You are also responsible for discussing the journal club article and presentation with your assigned
faculty member, please emphasize that he/she will have the opportunity (but are not required) to make
comments at the end of your presentation regarding the topic’s significance in the area of interest, the
article’s conclusions and any other key points he/she feels are pertinent.
Please, make these contacts no later than 2 weeks prior to the presentation. Our faculty has other
obligations and the more time you allow, the more likely someone will able to attend conference. Once
you've picked an article, to be sure it is acceptable and has not been previously reviewed; please e-mail
it to Dr. Sara Espinoza firstname.lastname@example.org for "approval" before moving forward with preparing
your presentation. Please, do not wait until the last minute to prepare this presentation. When you
procrastinate, you and your colleagues get less out of this conference.
Journal Club Timeline
6 weeks from time of presentation:
�� Choose your article (based on a clinical question)
�� Email the reference to your assigned faculty preceptor for approval
4 weeks from time of presentation:
�� When you have received approval, begin working on your presentation
�� Read "Users' Guide to Medical Literature" I, IIA, and IIB, and any other Users' guide relevant to chosen
�� Set up a time to meet with your faculty preceptor to go over your article
2 weeks from time of presentation:
�� Confirm the conference date and time with your faculty preceptor
�� Meet with your faculty preceptor to briefly go over the key points of the presentation
1. Oxman AD, Sackett DL, Guyatt GH: Users' guides to the medical literature. I. How to get started. The
Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group. Jama 270:2093-2095, 1993
2. Guyatt GH, Sackett DL, Cook DJ: Users' guides to the medical literature. II. How to use an article about
therapy or prevention. A. Are the results of the study valid? Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group.
Jama 270:2598-2601, 1993
3. Guyatt GH, Sackett DL, Cook DJ: Users' guides to the medical literature. II. How to use an article about
therapy or prevention. B. What were the results and will they help me in caring for my patients?
Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group. Jama 271:59-63, 1994