Document Type

Instructional Material

Publication Date



This small group, case-based exercise is geared towards medical students on their pediatric clerkship. The goal of this session is to teach students how to re-frame their clinical questions into a format that allows for more effective and efficient searching of the literature.

I provide this session once a month as a part of the Third-year medical student core lecture series during their inpatient pediatrics rotation. My co-facilitator is a medical librarian. We initially used a lecture format in which we reviewed use of advanced PubMed features with very little interaction from the learners. Based on feedback and evaluations, we decided to overhaul the design of our session to allow the students a more active and engaged role. Additionally, we were able to secure our institution’s computer training room, which allows each learner to have their own computer for the session.

I created the cases based on my previous experience with questions that students and residents commonly have during their pediatric inpatient month. Each scenario is focused on inpatient pediatric diagnoses as the session is scheduled during their inpatient rotation. Any resemblance to real-life cases is by chance only.

Since the change in our format, we have seen a significant increase in learner satisfaction with the activity. Below is a compilation of evaluation scores since initiation of this new format.

Summary of Evaluations 10/11 to 4/12 (6 sessions): N=55

Overall Teaching Effectiveness:

4.9 out of 5 [Likert Scale: 1=poor (<10%); 2=fair (11-25%); 3=good (26-75%); 4= excellent (76-90%); and 5=outstanding (>90%)]

Selected Comments:

What did you like best?

“Group activity, interactive”

“Active participation and practical EBM skills”

“The interactive component—you learn much more doing the search yourself”

When were you most engaged?

“Small group work, when I was actually doing the search”

“Interactive case scenarios”

“Discussion of everyone’s case and the tips given by the teachers”

What would you change?

“Allow more time”

“Present searching tips first”


Additional comments

“Very helpful”

“Great discussion of various sources”

“Very engaging and effective teaching format”

AAMC MedEdPORTAL publication ID 9213. Link to original.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Instructor's Guide.doc (2339 kB)
Instructor's Guide

Clinical Scenarios.doc (26 kB)
Clinical Scenarios

Evaluation MedEdPORTAL.doc (28 kB)
Evaluation MedEdPORTAL

Resource Packet.doc (160 kB)
Resource Packet

Search Tracker.doc (39 kB)
Search Tracker

Copyright License.pdf (154 kB)
Copyright License



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