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MDCN 440: Applied Evidence Based Medicine


Welcome to the AEBM MDCN 440 Library Research Guide!

This research guide will assist you in building the skills required to acquire the literature that you will consult when working with patients in a clinical setting, or colleagues on research projects. 

Whether you are familiar with finding medical literature, or new to using databases and other information tools, we hope you find the library component of MDCN 440 helpful to your academic success. We encourage you to utilize the librarians and library resources throughout your academic and professional careers so that you continuing building your literature searching and critical appraisal skills.

Your Librarian

Your librarian for this course is Zahra Premji. I am available to answer questions about finding literature for your assignments. You can e-mail me to set up an appointment. 

Our Team, and Our Consultation Services

While there is a librarian assigned to this course, all of our librarians are familiar with the course requirements and able to assist. We offer a drop-in consultation service in the Health Sciences Library every weekday from 12:30 - 4:30 pm. Just ask at the service desk to see the librarian.


Course Resources : JAMAEvidence

JAMAEvidence is a comprehensive guide to evidence-based medicine, from research to practice. Check out our video introduction to this useful resource, or read the descriptions and follow the links below. JAMAEvidence consists of the following books and tools:

The EBM Pyramid

The image below is from chapter 5 of Users' Guides to the Medical Literature (full reference below, under Further Reading). The Hierarchy of Evidence box shows which types of study are considered best (in descending order of quality) for therapy and harm studies (RCTs, for example, are better than observational studies as a general rule). Because there are way too many primary studies published for anyone to keep up with, there are more "processed" publications, such as guidelines and systematic reviews, that attempt to summarize/synthesize evidence and give you an answer you can apply in your practice.

On the right, the pyramid ranks the order in which practitioners should consult clinical resources: first try to find the answer in a guideline or summary tool such as DynaMed or UpToDate. If that doesn't yield an answer, try to find a systematic review or synopsis (such as those published in BMJ's Evidence-Based Medicine or in ACP Journal Club. If you're still not finding answers, you may need at that point to delve into the primary literature and do a PubMed search to find original studies.

Further reading:

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