Evidence-Based Medicine for the Medical Librarian

The Fall 2015 offering of this course will run from August 18 through October 13, 2015.    The cost for this course will be $ 450 US dollars (Only Visa/MasterCard accepted). Please e-mail Michelle Taylor to be placed on the interest list for Spring 2016. You will be alerted when registration opens.  

Course description

This eight-week course is designed as an introduction for medical librarians to the practice of evidence-based medicine (EBM). Practicing EBM means combining clinical expertise, the preferences and values of the patient and the best available evidence to make good patient care decisions.
This course will focus on understanding the skills clinicians need to practice EBM, such as how to formulate relevant questions, efficiently search medical literature and evaluate the evidence for validity and applicability to the patient. The course also will focus on the roles that librarians can play to support EBM. This course has been approved for 20 MLA contact hours.
It will take approximately 30 hours to complete the course, depending on previous knowledge of EBM and other factors. UNC SILS students are expected to attend a MEDLINE session taught on campus by one of the instructors.
The format of the course is a combination of course material, independent readings, reviews and exercises. Students also are required to participate in discussions through the course listserv. A final assignment integrating all the concepts learned during the previous weeks is also required. (UNC SILS students are required to complete an additional final project.)
For more information about the course, please e-mail Connie Schardt. To be added to the mailing list for notification of registration for the Fall session, please e-mail Michelle Taylor.

Course objectives

After completing this class, participants should be able to:
  • Identify and explain the concept, issues and process of EBM
  • Identify the parts of a well-built clinical question
  • Identify and explain at least three basic criteria for judging the validity of studies on:
           • Diagnosis
           • Therapy
           • Prognosis
           • Harm/Etiology
           • Overview/Meta-analysis
  • Identify at least three roles that librarians can undertake in providing EBM training and support to health care professionals
  • Suggest at least three ways to incorporate EBM training and support into what the library already is doing

Course outline

Week One and Two: Introduction and Question Building
  • What is EBM?
  • Why is EBM important?
  • Is it reasonable to expect evidence from the literature?
  • What are the controversial issues surrounding EBM?
  • What is the librarian's role in EBM?
  • Constructing a well-built clinical question
  • Class Review 1 and Exercise 1
Week Three and Four: Selecting the Resources and Conducting the Search
  • Selecting resources
  • Searching MEDLINE
  • How to teach MEDLINE within context of EBM
  • Class Review 2 and Exercise 2
Week Five and Six: Evaluating the Evidence
  • Role of the Librarian
  • Appraising articles on Diagnosis
  • Appraising articles on Therapy
  • Appraising articles on Prognosis
  • Appraising articles on Etiology/Harm
  • Appraising articles on Overviews
  • Class Review 3 and Exercise 3
Week Seven and Eight: Roles for the Librarian, Final Assignment and Wrap-up
  • Roles for the Librarian
  • Final Assignment (and Final Project for UNC SILS students only)
  • Class evaluation


Connie Schardt
Phone: 919/357-0593
Office hours: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (EST)
Angela Myatt
Briscoe Library, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Phone: 210/567-2431
Office hours: Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (CST)