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School of Medicine Resource Portal: Hosp Adult Care

Resources, tips, and tools to make your first year of medical school a bit easier



  1. Answer a clinical question using point-of-care tools such as DynaMed, Visual Dx, and Micromedex
  2. Formulate a focused clinical question using the PICO format and use it to create a database search strategy
  3. Identify primary studies in PubMed and limit searches by study design using Clinical Queries


  1. Library website:
    1. Identify points of interest on the website
      1. Ask Us button for requesting librarian consultations
      2. Off campus access
      3. Full-text journals
      4. Clinical point-of-care tools
      5. Databases
      6. Drug references
      7. Board Vitals – shelf exams and Steps 1-3 question bank
      8. Mobile App Guide
  2. What is Evidence Based Medicine?
  3. What's the difference between background and foreground questions?
  4. Answering background questions
    1. Clinical point-of-care tools
      1. Describe different tools and most appropriate uses
        1. DynaMed
        2. IsabelDx
        3. Clinical Key
        4. VisualDx
        5. Natural Medicines
        6. UpToDate - What's New / Practice Changing Updates
    2. E-books

Agenda Continued

  1. Answering foreground questions
    1. Asking a focused clinical question
      1. PICO – note that it is useful for creating database search strategies
    2. Creating a database search strategy
      1. Selecting key concepts, determining synonyms
      2. When to use AND, OR, parentheses
      3. How to broaden or narrow a search when necessary
    3. Hierarchy of evidence
    4. JAMA Evidence
    5. Cochrane Library - Systematic Reviews & RCTs
    6. Identifying relevant primary studies
      1. Using PubMed's Clinical Queries to identify best study design for your question
      2. Running a search in PubMed, checking “search details” to see how search terms were mapped

PubMed Searches

P I C O t t

P Patient/Population and/or Problem 49 yo African-American ♂ with atrial fibrillation
I Intervention heart rate control
C Comparison/Comparative Intervention heart rhythm control
O Outcome - you would like to measure or achieve

1 - decrease likelihood of mortality
2 - induce, give rise to, increase likelihood of cardioversion
3 - improve quality of life

t Type of question you are asking Diagnosis | Etiology | Prognosis | Therapy
t Type of study you would want to find Meta-analysis | Systematic Review | RCT | Cohort |
Case-Control | Case Series/Case Reports | Ideas/Opinions/Editorials/Anecdotal