Phitayakorn R, Gelula MH, Malangoni MA. Surgical journal clubs: a bridge connecting experiential learning theory to clinical practice. J Am Coll Surg 2007; 204(1):158-163. PubMed Related Articles
Excerpt: In its simplest form, a journal club can be defined as a group of individuals who meet regularly to critically discuss the clinical applicability of current articles found in medical journals. The first reference to a journal club as a distinct instructional entity was Harvey Cushing’s description of William Osler’s journal club in Montreal in 1875 for “… the purchase and distribution of periodicals to which he could ill afford to subscribe as an individual.” In the years that followed, journal clubs slowly evolved into a potentially powerful educational modality present in nearly all medical disciplines.
Despite their broad appeal and importance, there is an enormous lack of extant literature about surgical journal clubs and their role in postgraduate medical training. The vast majority of the literature on journal clubs stems from primary care specialties. The paucity of information about surgical journal clubs is surprising, because journal clubs are a nearly ubiquitous component of surgical residency training in the United States. Journal clubs serve many functions and are ideal formats to instruct attendees in critical appraisal of the literature and research methodologies, and can also serve to improve departmental cohesion and camaraderie. In addition, journal clubs encompass three of the six Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education core competencies, including application of medical knowledge to patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, and interpersonal skills and communication with fellow residents and attending physicians. The Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education will require all residency programs to demonstrate that each of their educational programs meets the designated core competencies through careful and accurate assessments by 2008. This mandate has stimulated debate as to whether journal clubs are educationally obsolete and should instead be replaced with an integrated evidence-based curriculum.
Sections: Background on experiential learning theory; Connecting surgical journal clubs with experiential learning theory; Learner asssessment after surgical journal clubs; References
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