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How to Approach a Journal Club Presentation: By Sarah J. Strube

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How to Approach a Journal Club Presentation:
By Sarah J. Strube, DO
What is a Journal Club?
American Medical Association’s (AMA) definition of a journal club: “is a certified
live activity structured around the discussion of a journal article(s) that do not have to be
certified as journal-based CME. Generally physicians will read the article(s) prior to the
activity and discuss the article(s) during the journal-club meeting. In this example, the
activity is certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Creditв„ў for the discussion and learning that
occurs at the live activity, not for reading the article(s). The accredited CME provider
must comply with all core and live activity format specific requirements in order to certify
the activity for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.”
Journal Club Purpose: The purpose of our journal club series is to generate
questions, to interpret data, disseminate knowledge among physicians and apply it to the
patient population.
Learning Objectives:
The participants should be able to:
Explain critical literature appraisal skills
Discuss controversies
Improve clinical practice
Formulate ideas for future research
How to Approach a Journal Club
Today, in any specialty of medicine, physicians are expected to utilize evidence-based
medicine and prescribe rational, effective and appropriate treatments. They are also
expected to make accurate diagnoses using appropriate and cost effective tests and
make reasonable prognoses. As we know, this not only applies to managed care but
our own private practices. Journal club is not intended to make statisticians out of
physicians, but to help us to interpret data and apply it to our patient population.
Please be advised that journal club is the presenters’ opportunity to learn how to impart
a scholarly analysis of a published article in a peer reviewed journal of a treatment
modality, a prognostic, or a diagnostic test. Therefore, it is expected that the “PICO” (P
= patient, I = intervention, C = comparison, O = outcome) method be utilized in
assessing your journal article. An example of the method is on the St. Mary Internal
Medicine Residency website as a PowerPoint presentation.
Website: .
Click on Homepage ~ Scroll down to Didactics ~ Select Journal Club.
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Additionally, since there seems to be a preference in reviewing treatment modalities, I
have included some basic questions that you should be prepared to answer at the end
of your presentation. These questions have been taken and summarized below from the
book Clinical Epidemiology, D. Sackett et al- Jan.1991.
Critical questions for evaluating an article of a treatment modality:
1. Was the assignment of the treatment group really randomized?
2. Were the similarities between groups documented?
3. Were all clinically relevant outcomes reported, i.e. morbidity, mortality, death from all
cause, quality of life assessment? Was the outcome assessment blind?
4. Were the study patients similar to your own? Was the setting a primary or tertiary
5. Were statistical and clinical significance reported? If the study was statistically
significant, was the clinical impact important? If the study did not show significance
for a treatment was it powered appropriately and did it still have clinical impact?
6. Is the treatment viable? Is it available, affordable; does it make sense? Did the study
point out compliance issues, i.e. adherence to treatment, side effects, etc.?
7. Did the study account for all of the author’s conclusions, i.e. did they consider
dropouts, withdrawals, lost to follow-up in their analysis?
Expectations of Presenters:
1 -2 Months PRIOR your
Scheduled Presentation
The journal article must be selected and approved by the
GME Faculty Advisor.
Schedule a meeting with your faculty advisor and bring your
selected article for discussion.
As soon as the article has been selected, please send to the
CME coordinator for distribution.
1 Month Prior your
Scheduled Presentation
Review the two documents in the Internal Medicine Website:
1 Week Prior your
Scheduled Presentation
Provide DRAFT of PowerPoint Presentation to your advisor
by email. Copy Noon Conference Coordinator. It is the
responsibility of the resident to adhere to the timeline from
How to approach a Journal Club
PowerPoint Templates
Page 2 of 3
selection of a journal article to the actual presentation.
S Akhund et al: MBC Medical Education Research Article: “Do Community Medicine Residency Trainees
Learn through Journal Club? An experience from a developing country. BMC Medical Education 2006,
J Baird, MD: Journal Clubs: What Not to Do. Academic Medicine, V87, No3/March 2012: 257
J Hafler, EdD et al: Decoding the Learning Environment of Medical Education: A Hidden Curriculum
Perspective for Faculty Development. Academic Medicine, V86, No4/April 2011:440-444
M Crislip, MD: Journal Club. Exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and
medicine. Science-Based Medicine: http://www.sciencebased
J Ioanndis: Why Most Published Research Findings are False. PLoS Med 2(8): el24
Fighting Spurious Complementary & Alternative Medicine (SCAM)
R Moonesinghe et al: Most Published Research Finding Are False — But a Little Replication Goes a Long
Way. PLoS Med 4(2): e28.doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040028
S Goodman: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False: Problems in the Analysis. PLoS
Medicine/ 0773 April 2007/Vol4/Issue4/e165-e168
J Ionnidis: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False: Author’s Reply to Goodman and
R Phillips, MA, BM BCH, MRCPCh, P Glasziou, MBBS, PhD: “What makes evidence-based journal clubs
succeed? EBM notebook
From Wikipedia: Is Alternative Medicine Better? What is the Definition of Alternative Medicine? Is
alternative Medicine Safe? Why is Alternative Medicine so Popular?
http://www.ask.clm/wiki/Alternative medicine
D Sackett: Clinical Epidemiology. Book/Jan.1991
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