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Article
November 4, 1988

Impact of a Medical Journal Club on House-Staff Reading Habits, Knowledge, and Critical Appraisal SkillsA Randomized Control Trial

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Internal Medicine, the Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center (Drs Linzer, Brown, Frazier, and Siegel), and the Health Services Research Field Program, Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center (Dr DeLong), Durham, NC.

From the Division of General Internal Medicine, the Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center (Drs Linzer, Brown, Frazier, and Siegel), and the Health Services Research Field Program, Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center (Dr DeLong), Durham, NC.

JAMA. 1988;260(17):2537-2541. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410170085039
Abstract

The journal club is an established teaching modality in many house-staff training programs. To determine if a journal club improves house-staff reading habits, knowledge of epidemiology and biostatistics, and critical appraisal skills, we randomized 44 medical interns to receive either a journal club or a control seminar series. A test instrument developed by the Delphi method was administered before and after the interventions (mean, five journal club sessions). By self-report, 86% of the house staff in the journal club group improved their reading habits vs 0% in the control group. Knowledge scores increased more in the journal club group than in the control group, and a trend was found toward more knowledge gained as more sessions were attended. Ability to appraise critically a test article increased slightly in each group, but there was no significant difference between the groups. We conclude that a journal club is a powerful motivator of critical house-staff reading behavior and can help teach epidemiology and biostatistics to physicians-in-training.

(JAMA 1988;260:2537-2541)

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