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01-11-2014 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2014 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 5/2014

Acquiring evidence-based medicine and research skills in the undergraduate medical curriculum: three different didactical formats compared

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 5/2014
M. Zee, M. de Boer, A. D. C. Jaarsma


Medical schools have recently witnessed a call for authentic research activities that equip students with the skills required for evidence-based medicine (EBM) and research. Because it is not always possible to make such activities available as a part of the curriculum, evaluating the effectiveness of the various choices of traditional and authentic EBM and research skills courses is essential. This study’s purpose was to evaluate students’ perceived EBM and research skill acquisition in three different courses in a Dutch medical school. Self-reported surveys were conducted among 163 Dutch medical undergraduates who participated in an undergraduate research project, a basic EBM skills elective, or a traditional lecture-based skills course. MANCOVA was employed to test for group differences in perceived skill acquisition. Students who finished their research project perceived themselves as more experienced in writing and information retrieval skills than students who participated in the lecture-based course or basic skills elective. Students in the lecture-based course identified themselves as being the most experienced in critical judgment. No group differences were found for overall gains. Authentic research activities may have benefits over traditional lecture-based courses in the undergraduate medical curriculum, especially in terms of equipping students with writing and information retrieval skills.
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