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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research

British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 14, Issue.: 12

Short Research Article

A Survey Showing the Need to Incorporate the Teaching of Critical Appraisal Skills in the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum


Shameen Jaunoo1* and Hannah L. Adams2

1Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, UK.

2Warwickshire Surgical Research Group, Warwickshire, UK.


Article Information
(1) Syed Faisal Zaidi, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University-HS,National Guard Health Affairs, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
(1) Anna Maria Paganoni, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
(2) Wagih Mommtaz Ghannam, Mansoura University, Egypt.
(3) Elvira Bormusov, Technion Inst. of Technology, Israel.
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Aim: Evidence based medicine (EBM) not only increases knowledge but forms the foundations upon which decision making processes are used in medicine. This requires well-conducted research and the ability for doctors to critically appraise literature. The aim of this survey was to gain an insight into the understanding of critical appraisal amongst medical student and trainees, with particular emphasis on the teaching aspect of these skills in the undergraduate curriculum.

Methods: Online questionnaires were distributed within the West Midlands Deanery to final year medical students (from the three medical schools) foundation doctors, core surgical trainees and specialist registrars. The questions asked related to levels of confidence in critical appraisal of scientific papers, undergraduate exposure to the process of critical review and opinions on whether these skills should form a more significant component of the undergraduate curriculum. 

Results: 266 questionnaire responses were received from a range of grades. 127 final year medical students, 62 foundation doctors, 34 core trainees and 43 registrars. Respondents were asked to grade their confidence in critically appraising scientific papers from a choice of no confidence, little confidence, quite confident and very confident. There was a noticeable correlation between level of confidence and grade of respondent. 93% felt critical appraisal teaching was inadequate, with particular emphasis on research methods and paper analysis, with 96% of respondents suggesting this should form a mandatory part of the curriculum.

Conclusion: This survey clearly demonstrates the need to ensure that critical appraisal skills are incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum so that newly qualified doctors begin their careers equipped with the essential skills required to practice evidence-based medicine.


Keywords :

Evidence based medicine; critical appraisal; training; medical curriculum.


Full Article - PDF    Page 1-8    Article Metrics


DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2016/24238

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