EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

Category Archives: Blogs or Wikis about Medicine

News: Here’s a new look for the Blog

Whenever WordPress announces that a new theme has been added to their collection of free templates, I test them  out.  This new theme, zBench, is a winner! Hope you like it.  Bear with me while I fidget with the widgets.

Thanks, WordPress.

This week I will get back to blogging after a very active teaching load in October.

The Friday Post #52: Medical Students, Video: Tips on How to Survive Medical School

Welcome back, everyone!  This is the Friday Post #52 for Aug 27, 2010.

The area in the pink box (below) has been the focus of instructional activities this week:

Image source: http://library.uchc.edu – All rights reserved – copyright 2010

August is a challenging month for academic reference librarians.  This week at UCHC, an interactive instructional session for first year medical and dental students (140 of them) was our main event. In 2009, the reference librarians presented a mock PBL case, written with a fourth year student who narrated the case while the librarians linked to the databases on the overhead screen in one of the large teaching auditoriums.  As each clinical scenario was described in the case, librarians linked into an assortment of resources.

This year, the 90-minute instructional session was more interactive. Everyone was handed an electronic clicker (aka audience response system) to use to respond to our librarian-questions which were interspersed between live demonstrations of PubMed, Lexi-Comp, 3-D Tooth Atlas, ADAM (Interactive Anatomy) and others.

Their new laptops also came in handy as the students quickly tried a “test run” on each of the resources. The live interactive feedback from this group was something new to try in 2010, and it was both fun and instructive. Although perhaps next year we will skip the video procedure showing the skin punch biopsy… when it is projected onto a 24 ft. square overhead, it’s just way too graphic for the first week of medical school (LOL).

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The Girl with the Blue Stethoscope (a fourth-year medical student and blogger from Australia) began a series in July 2010 titled “How to Survive Medical School.  For the members of the Class of 2014 this should be pretty much essential reading.

Her first installment was “How To Survive Medical School Part 1: Friends“.  The second installment:  How To Survive Medical School Part 2: Ask For Help. Thank you, Girl with the Blue Stethoscope… I’m looking forward to the next installment!

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Then this: Tufts University medical students raise the bar with this video for – and about – first year medical students called 99 Problems til First Years Done!

Video source: http://youtube.com – All rights reserved – copyright 2010

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That’s the Friday Post #52 for Aug 27, 2010, folks.  Enjoy a summer weekend!

News, Progress: New Look for the Blog

Imagine my surprise to return from vacation this Monday to discover that the EBM & Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC blog has been given a new look…. not chosen by me!  WordPress has discontinued the former blog-theme Cutline in favor of a theme they introduced in early August, called Coraline.  So while I am sorting out where all my widgets and doo-dads went, please bear with me.

News, Questions: Celebrating a 3rd Blogiversary… And Stay or Go?

Today, Tuesday, Jul 27 2010, is the third Blogiversary of the EBM & Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC blog on WordPress.

My question for today is:

After 380 posts, 280 comments, 1,598 tags and 89,000+ spam comments, the question is: should I keep blogging or should I hang it up after three years?

Please, dear readers, provide me with some direction on whether to continue blogging… or not.

While you listen to this classic by The Clash

Video Credit: http://www.youtube.com – All rights reserved – copyright 2010

Thanks!

News, Libraries, Librarianship: Medlib’s Round Carnival Edition 2.5!

This is the June 2010 edition of Medlib’s Round Carnival.

This collection of links have been submitted by a (worldwide) group of dedicated bloggers… veteran medical librarians along with a new health science librarian, physicians and scientists contributing to the mix!

The broad  topic of this Carnival is about service. Librarians talk a lot among themselves about providing quality information services and library collections for their core users.   We are great believers in training our library visitors to recognize quality information sources, showing them what to search,  how to search and how to appraise those sources effectively; we also spend considerable time, effort and money to create digital or physical library collections that meet the information needs of our users.  Doing these things well is (actually) more difficult than it appears…  not as difficult as climbing the summit of Mount Everest but definitely made more challenging in an era of rapidly rising costs, disappearing personnel and shrinking budgets.

So without further ado, here is the Medlib’s Round Blog Carnival 2.5.

Jacqueline, blogger at Laika‘s MedLibLog recently wrote:  “It is so important that you know the pros and cons of databases and that you think before you even start searching“. Read her evidence-based discussion here:  “PubMed versus Google Scholar for Retrieving Evidence” (Jun 6 2010).

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Medical Library Association holds an annual conference, which this year was held May 21-26 in Washington, DCKrafty Librarian blogger Michelle Kraft was a conference speaker and official blogger at MLA.  She wrote MLA ’10 Week in Review, an excellent summary and set of links to presentations and other conference activities on her blog – especially valuable to those of us who weren’t able to attend the meeting.

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As a library student, you don’t get many chances to really dig your teeth into searching databases, unless you’re working on a thesis or have a really extraordinary work opportunity. Basic reference as a student usually involves basic searches for patrons, maybe some instruction, more than a little help given to new or remedial library users. This is why my experience with a systematic search team will be so memorable as a learning experience as I begin to launch my career as a health librarian. “

So wrote recent MLS graduate, Daniel Hooker, who blogs about Health Libraries, Medicine and the Web in a recent post about performing his First Systematic Search using the OvidSP search platform.  Check out the vintage librarian cartoon – what a laugh!

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Psychiatrist Walter van den Broek, who blogs at Dr. Shock, wrote an interesting post for the Carnival entitled “What’s Wrong with the Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest?” (Jun 6 2010).

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Relying on donations, librarian-volunteers collect and ship medical textbooks to American military personnel stationed in war zones throughout the world.  Their service mission is described on the blog Operation Medical Libraries:

” The mission of Operation Medical Libraries is to collect and distribute current medical textbooks and journals to war-torn countries through a partnership with American medical schools, hospitals, and physicians and the United States military… and

to foster the creation of permanent medical libraries and support the expansion of existing collections in conflict regions where health care education and the practice of medicine are suffering “.

Text Source: http://operationmedicallibraries.blogspot.com/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

This post on the OML blog is about books sent to Afghanistan in 2009 and the photo below shows a happy library user in that facility:

Photo source: http://operationmedicallibraries.blogspot.com/2009/05/oml-library-in-bagram-af-provides.html – All rights reserved – copyright 2010

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Patients or family members are a common sight in the medical library, seeking current, credible medical information, or advice on where to find those patient education materials.  Technologist-librarian PF Anderson contributes two items to this Carnival on those topics:

Video Source: http://www.youtube.com – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

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  • BitesizeBio, a blog written by and for lab biologists, offers practical advice on giving, receiving, qualifying and implementing advice in the Apr 26 2010 post, “The Art of Giving of Advice“.

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And that’s Medlib’s Round Blog Carnival Edition 2.5, folks!  Hope you enjoyed reading it. To all those who sent in submissions, I am grateful and send you heartfelt thanks!

The next edition of MedLib’s Round (July 2010) will be hosted at Laika‘s MedLibLog.

If you have material to submit for that edition, please use this form.  To subscribe to an RSS feed for Medlib’s Round, click here here.

News, Blogs: 2nd Call for submitting to Medlib’s Round Blog Carnival – June 2010

This blog is hosting the June 2010 edition of Medlib’s Round Blog Carnival.

Please join this forum to share your stories about the work and value provided by health science librarians or medical library collections, especially from those involved in teaching or training others to use biomedical literature.

Who should submit to the Medlib’s Round? Health Science bloggers from around the world.

What are the main ideas?

Reference Questions (or People) I Won’t Forget.   Librarians: Please share some positive “memorable” encounters that took place in a public service/reference desk setting, over your career.

Health Science Libraries or Librarians: How Have We Helped You ? Clinicians, researchers,  pharmacists, graduate students, nurses: If your clinical or educational work as a scientist or care-provider has been positively enhanced by working with a librarian or librarian-instructors in health science library settings, please share your stories with us.

Is there a deadline to submit an entry? Yes – please write your article, post it to your blog and send it to BlogCarnival.com no later than Tuesday, June 8th.

How do I submit an article? Copy the URL of your blog post, then go to BlogCarnival.com and paste the URL into their online form.  (See screenshot below).  BlogCarnival will  manage it from there.

Image/Photo Credit: http://blogcarnival.com/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

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Questions? Send an email message to ebmblog@gmail.com

Thank you!

News, Medicine, Librarians, Blogosphere: Participate in Medlib’s Blog Carnival – June 2010

Image/Photo Credit: http://blogcarnival.com/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

Big News!

EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC has been invited to host Medlib’s Round Blog Carnival for the month of  June 2010. How does this work?  Here is an excerpt from the Blog Carnival FAQ page:

Welcome to the Blog Carnival page! We love the idea of blog carnivals where someone takes the time to find really good blog posts on a given topic, and then puts all those posts together in a blog post called a “carnival”… Carnivals are an edited (and usually annotated) collection of links that lets them serve as “magazines” within the blogosphere…

Since blog carnivals include lots of posts on specific topics, they also serve as a place to connect with those who are expert (or at least highly opinionated!) and those who are interested in that field. Blog Carnival simplifies carnivals for two kinds of people:  People who read and contribute to blog carnivals, and  people who organize and publish blog carnivals.

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What is the subject for Medlib’s Round Blog Carnival?

As a reference and public services librarian, over the years I have assembled a group of classic questions or library patrons in my mind that could be summarized as:  Questions (or People) I’ll Always Remember at the Health Science Library“.

This intent of this collaboration is learn more about the unique experiences of others librarians worldwide, or from those who work with health science librarians to teach, train and find medical information.  

Who should submit to the Medlib’s Round?

Bloggers from around the world

Medical/reference  librarians, folks who blog about clinical reasoning, evidence-based medicine, teaching and learning medicine (or practicing medicine).  I would appreciate hearing from physician- or scientist-bloggers who collaborate with health science librarians, medical students and others as they use digital library collections.

What should I write about?

Funny, sad, poignant, teachable moments (or people) encountered in your health science library.

  • Librarians: Please share some positive “memorable” encounters that took place in a public service/reference desk setting, over your career.
  • Clinicians, researchers,  pharmacists, graduate students, nurses: If your clinical or educational work as a scientist or care-provider has been positively enhanced by working with a librarian or librarian-instructors in health science library settings, please share your stories with us.

Is there a deadline to submit an entry?

Yes – please write your article, post it to your blog and send it to BlogCarnival.com no later than Tuesday, June 8th.

OK – I have an article to share.  Now what do I do?

First, go this link at BlogCarnival.com and paste the URL of your blog post using their online form.  You’ll need to also type in your name and email address.  (See screenshot below).  BlogCarnival will manage it from there.

Image/Photo Credit: http://blogcarnival.com/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

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Questions – I have Questions. Who do I ask? Send an email message to ebmblog@gmail.com.  Thanks in advance!

News, Medical Education, Med Schools in the Making and Doctors Day

Today, March 30th, is National Doctors’ Day 2010*!

Photo Source/Credit:  http://www.doctorsday.org/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

( Link here for a short explanation of the Tradition of the White Coat )

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Found on American Medical News this Monday, a feature article describing plans in process for establishing 13 new allopathic schools of medicine in the U.S. (with nine in the preliminary planning stages).

(Link to a graphic from the AMedNews site showing their geographic locations.)

Locally, Quinnipiac University (Hamden, CT) announced their intention in January 2010 to seek accreditation to open a new medical college.  The school plans to begin admitting students in academic year 2014.

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A developing medical school in the United States or Canada must complete five steps to become fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)…. Each step has its own requirements, and a school may not recruit applicants or accept student applications before reaching Step Three. ”

Excerpt from New School Process Overview, found on the website for Liaison Committee on Medical Education, a division of AAMC

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LCME and U.S. Department of Education are the organizational agencies governing curriculum and educational standards that 117 U.S. and 17 Canadian allopathic medical schools must conform to.

Alternatively, osteopathic medical education is governed by U.S. Department of Education and the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), an agency of the American Osteopathic Association.  Twenty-six colleges in the U.S. are accredited to grant Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degrees; five new schools opened in the U.S. in the past several years.  

Click here to see a map of colleges of Osteopathic Medicine in the U.S.

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Finally: Published on Feb 15 2010, a reporter from the New York Times interviewed medical students who have chosen to attend some of the “newest” schools of medicine.  Read the article at this link..

* See also #doctors day on Twitter.

Academic Medicine, Teaching & Learning in Medicine: Announcing a New Series called Learning Medicine

It’s looking more like spring each morning in the Northeast, after a nasty late winter. There are daffodils poking out of the ground. The days are growing longer. This morning I saw a green bagel in the cafeteria because tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day*.

This makes it a good time to try something new on the blog. Today marks the first post in a series which I have titled Learning Medicine: Ten Questions.

The series is intended as an open dialog between current and former medical students, educators, clinical researchers, PBL facilitators, librarians (and anyone else I can rope into answering 10+ questions!). The content or questions in the interview may vary, depending on the background and professional experience of the interviewee.

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Today, please welcome esteemed veteran blogger and physician Graham Walker!

A Background Question – Who Are You?

Graham Walker describes himself in this way:

I’m a second-year Emergency Medicine resident at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital System in New York City. I was originally a medical school blogger (at the now-defunct Over  My Med Body! ) blog. Recently I’ve returned to blogging as a contributor to The Central Line, the official blog of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

My interests include: surviving residency, technology and web design, simulation medicine, informatics, health policy and caffeine highs.  I’m originally from Kansas, went to undergrad at Northwestern in Chicago, studying social policy/health policy, then went to Stanford for med school with a concentration in Community Health.

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Making the transition from undergraduate/or pre-med to graduate medical student

Can you name 4 or 5 key things that (in retrospect) you wished you had known before you began your first day of medical school?

Oh boy. Hopefully I can still remember anything about being a premed!  Here goes:

1) Know how you study, and develop good study skills in undergrad. Medical school is tough — they say it is like trying to drink water out of a firehose — so make sure that you’ve got a system in place to organize information in your head and commit it to memory.

For some people that’s flashcards, for others it’s study groups; for me, I *still* find I have to write things down in a notebook to get them to stick.

2) Know how you relax, and don’t give up doing that. For some people, that’s going to the gym. For others, that’s playing the guitar. Or doing a hobby. Or keeping in touch with your family. Medical school (and residency even more-so) requires copious coping mechanisms so have yours ready.

3) Get by with a little help from your friends. Don’t be a gunner in medical school. You’re in — You get to be a doctor — Yay!  Med school will be much easier if you work together with your classmates rather than view them as competition — *especially* once clinics start.

4) It is normal to feel overwhelmed. Accept it and embrace it, and it won’t be so stressful. There are parts of it that you’re going to hate, that are not going to be intuitive. But it will get better!

5) Try to get yourself all figured out. Know yourself by the time medical school starts, because while you’re in the thick of things, it’s easier to have as many of your own internal issues worked out before trying to ascend Mt. Medical School. “

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Being a Person AND a Medical Student

Please tell us about some moments in medical school or clerkship that:

Made You Angry: I remember two instances that made me upset: one was the way some OB-Gyn residents were talking disrespectfully about a terminal cancer patient. (I actually kind of understand their perspective as a resident now, but still don’t agree with it.)

The other was a grossly abnormal physical finding in a patient that I found that a group of residents chose to ignore, because I was a medical student. As the medical student, you are — more than anyone — your patient’s advocate. Know when to speak up.”

Made you wish you had Studied More: “ The Boards. But you always wish you could memorize more. Do your best, and move on “.

Brought Tears to your Eyes:  “ I remember it like it was yesterday. It was on my medicine rotation, one of the first patients that I really felt was “mine.” My residents let me “be in charge” as much as I could, and I fought for him to get a much-needed foot amputation. I was off or post-call one day, and I remember coming back the next morning and finding out he had died.

I wrote up the experience: Wonderful, Just Wonderful, Dr. Walker at: http://www.grahamazon.com/over/2006/02/wonderful-just-wonderful-dr-walker/ “.

Made you Roll on the Floor Laughing:  “ Slap-happy post-call. I’m known for being a little hyper and a bit of a morning person, which usually drives people crazy. Also any shift in the Emergency Department “.

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Learning Medicine, Becoming a Doctor. Empathy, gravitas, demeanor, honesty

Part A:  How does one learn to “act like a physician”?   (It’s not really in a textbook.)

I certainly steal bits and pieces from different mentors and heroes of mine. A phrase from this attending, a style from that one. Tips and tricks along the way.

There’s no one way to “act like a physician,” and often it changes for the situation and the patient. I’m a different type of doctor when I’m seeing an infant compared to when I’m evaluating a trauma patient or interviewing a 95 year-old. Being able to adapt and change: maybe that’s the ticket. ”

One area the third-year medical students are concerned with is effective communications with patients and their families when managing someone with a terminal illness, in palliative care or especially when attending unexpected deaths due to accidents, homicide, military, etc.

Part B:  How does a physician learn to “deliver bad news” to a patient or their family members?

Get at or below the patient or loved one’s level. Empathize. Speak in private. Speak their language, if you can. (Learn as many languages as you can.) Make eye contact. Be direct, calm, and compassionate. Tell them however they’re feeling or reacting is normal and okay: everyone reacts differently.

Be present in the moment.  This is one of the hardest things for me to do now, and I have to remind myself of it, especially in a busy emergency department. Don’t worry about what’s happening to the rest of the team, or the other patients, or the rest of the department. Just be there, if only for a few minutes.   Apply the Golden Rule “.

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Congratulations – You are now a resident!  Choosing a specialty.

Match Day is Thursday, March 18, 2010. Can you describe the process that allowed you to select a medical specialty (Emergency Medicine) and why?

Man, it’s hard to remember, because my view of the specialty has changed so much as a resident. I remember really connecting with the type of attendings and residents who went into Emergency Medicine.  My type of people, I guess.

They say it’s much easier to rule out specialties than rule any in, and that’s very true. I was the type of medical student who enjoyed most of my clerkships, but in the end, I chose the one that I thought I’d enjoy, be challenged by, and excel at. ”

What advice would you give fourth-year students as they learn their Match and prepare for residency?

Get excited, relax, and get scared. Residency is not anything like a harder version of medical school, like I imagined it to be.  Enjoy your last few free months. Travel. Get married. Spend time with the people who are important to you.

Do. NOT. Study. And most of all: learn Spanish “.

Do you ever get enough sleep?

Yes, I do. My program is pretty resident-friendly in that regard, and I think it makes us all better, happier, more efficient, and more compassionate doctors. It’s hard to go the extra mile (which is what you realize you have to do as a resident) when you’re exhausted and cranky. ”

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Since this blog is written to inform readers about health science literature, trends in medical or scholarly communications, effective search strategies and sources, the next question focuses on your experience in learning to effectively use health science literature, sources for evidence-based practice or anything digital.

Have your information needs and/or searching behavior(s) changed between medical school and residency?  Are mobile computing resources and technologies important to you?

Definitely.  In medical school it’s all about learning about the basics, and the basics of how you treat X.

In residency, it’s much more about management, when to use what, finesse, and pattern recognition. I think it’s different for every specialty, too.

Regarding searching for clinical evidence, which sources, journals or databases have you found most-useful in answering clinical or patient care questions over time?

Great question. If I’m going to anything, it’s usually either UpToDate or E-Medicine or straight to actual papers, via Pubmed.

I really like JAMA’s Rational Clinical Examination series, as well as BestBets, The TRIP Database, Cochrane Reviews, and often just… Google.  I also keep a private little blog of things I’ve learned and journal articles I want to hold onto for future reference.”

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What aspect of medicine/science digital communication and/or particular use of the Web for medicine or patient care interests you the most? (This is a completely open-ended question.)

I love Podcasts, Videos, Image Banks and clinically-useful blogs. It’s a whole other style of learning that helps you learn more when you’re tired of reading journal articles, review articles, or textbooks. ”

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Bonus Question: What question would you like to ask the readers? – or – What do you want medical students who read the EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC blog to learn from our interview?

I’d love to know how the students think medicine is going to change in their lifetime.

What do they think of the blurring of private/public life through [social media sites such as] Facebook?  Should we as doctors hide our private lives — that is, is it inappropriate for a patient to see a doctor, say, smoking or drinking on a site like Facebook?

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And that’s the first interview for Learning Medicine: Ten Questions series.  Special thanks again to Graham Walker for sharing his time, expertise, advice and experiences.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

News, Medical & Technology Blogs: A Great Crop of “Best Medical Blogs”

MedGadget.com annually stages a “Best Medical Blog” award.  Their selections are always interesting to review for new – and well-established – writers.  This is the sixth year which the competition has been held.

This years’ nominees for the 2009 “Best Medical Blog” –  in seven different categories – represent many new bloggers, as well as some classic, veteran writers.  Each writer on the list represents a refreshing point of view in their own particular specialty, be it as a technologist, physician, research scientist, nurse, patient or librarian.

If you like, you can visit the site to review and vote for your choice(s) for the 2009 Medical Weblogs awards.  The online voting began Jan 27 and polls will remain open until Feb 14 2010.

Someday, maybe this blog will make it onto the list  8)