THE ROLE OF THE JOURNAL CLUB IN SURGICAL TRAINING

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Abstract

Background:

The development of skills in critical appraisal of the medical literature is an important aspect of surgical training.

Methods:

At the Prince of Wales Hospital a journal club has been conducted for more than 5 years to improve the registrars' training in this area. A questionnaire was circulated regarding the success of the journal club at achieving adequate review of the important current literature, development of critical appraisal skills by registrars and providing a convivial social gathering.

Results:

A total of 28 out of 39 current or previous journal club members responded to the questionnaire. Twenty-three of the respondents felt that the journal club provided a good to excellent review of current literature, 26 felt that the journal club facilitated development of critical appraisal skills and all 28 said that the journal club was a convivial social forum. Eight research projects developed from journal club reviews, 19 of the respondents reported that their clinical practice had changed, and 19 had been stimulated to further review a topic as a result of the journal club. Many of the respondents had specific criticisms of the journal club, and these have been used to improve the journal club format.

Conclusions:

The present study has highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of our journal club. The journal club is a valuable component of surgical education.

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