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Evidence-Based Medicine Reading Elective

Last Updated: March 29, 2020


Evidence-based medicine is the cornerstone of medical practice today. Students need to be trained to assess a particular topic within their fields, research it, evaluate and critique the sources of information they encounter while doing research, and be able to discuss and relate their findings. During this elective, students will gain practical experience in performing a comprehensive literature review, evaluation of evidence and information, and the writing of a report or article on the subject, under the supervision of a faculty mentor. The elective is intended to introduce students to the process of literature evaluation and interpretation, to enhance their skills in practicing evidence-based medicine. Students will complete a 5- or 10-page (5-page for 2 weeks, 10-page for 4 weeks) minimum report on some scholarly aspect of their chosen specialty, focusing on evidence-based medicine. Students will be expected to consult with the School of Medicine librarian in performing their literature search. Allowances can be made for the focus of their paper, if students would like to write something on the history of medicine, or other type of article or report. Report subjects will be discussed with and agreed upon by the faculty mentor prior to students beginning work. Orientation: At the beginning of the elective, students will be given an introductory orientation providing an overview of the rotation. In addition, students will be paired with a mentor to guide their work on their reports. 

Course Goals: Provide an opportunity for self-directed learning and scholarly activity in a specific field of medicine.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this elective, students will be able to:

  1. Describe a topic within their field of choice, including relating its significance, importance to medicine in general, and future application.
  2. Demonstrate how to write a comprehensive report or article on their specific topic.
  3. Perform a comprehensive literature search on a specific topic.


Brigham C. Willis, MD, MEd, University of California Riverside School of Medicine (brighamw@medsch.ucr.edu)
Elisa Cortez, MILS, AHIP, University of California Riverside School of Medicine