Evidence-Based Medicine for the Medical Librarian

Evidence Based Medicine for the Medical Librarian will be offered from September 24 to November 18, 2017 (September 24-December 2, 2017 for graduate students). Registration details to follow. The cost for this course will be $450 US dollars (Only Visa/MasterCard accepted). Please e-mail Maggie Hite with any registration questions.  

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. With additional coursework and two additional weeks for completion, the course can be taken for graduate credit at UNC SILS.  
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.  
For more information about the course, please e-mail Connie Schardt. For registration information, please e-mail Maggie Hite.

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. - 4:00 p.m. (EST)
Megan von Isenberg
Phone: 919-660-1131
Office hours by appointment