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Journal Club: screen, select, probe & evaluate

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Author(s): Kanthraj G | Srinivas C

Journal: Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology
ISSN 0378-6323

Volume: 71;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 435;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Journal club | Journal articles | Medical journals

ABSTRACT
Postgraduate dermatology training programs like seminars, panel discussions, and case presentations help residents to acquire knowledge. Journal club (JC) exercises help residents to update themselves with the current literature. What article a resident should choose and how a resident should evaluate and analyze an article or critically appraise a topic are issues that are most relevant for the success of a JC. Little guidance is available in the biomedical literature on how to deal with such issues. The objective of this article is to provide guidance to neophytes on dealing with JC exercises in a way that helps them in learning the critical appraisal skills. A review of the literature and of the author′s experience in JC exercises will be presented. Knowing the methodology of rapid screening of articles along with the art of evaluating them, coupled with a sound knowledge of epidemiology and bio-statistics, helps a resident to select appropriate articles and discard poorly conceived or designed topics that may not generate interest in JC attendees. Hence, such an approach helps the resident in acquiring new knowledge in the shortest time. Choosing the right topic and then applying the newly obtained information to clinical practice, participants succeed in making the JC a valuable learning experience. Further, such well-formatted JCs help residents to improve the quality of health care delivered to patients.
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