Repairing the Bridge: Assessing Critical Information Skill Deficiencies in Medical Residents

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Objective: To analyze what information skills medical residents have in PDA use, evidence-based medicine (EBM), Loansome Doc use, and off-campus access to databases.

Methods: A survey analysis was conducted of 217 medical residents from the 2005/06 East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine class in surgery, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and pathology with a return rate of 48.4%. Quantitative analysis was performed with the SPSS (v. 14.0 for Windows) software program. The results were expressed in percents in graphical or tabular form. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequencies, mean, median, and mode), and inferential statistics (Mann-Whitney U test and chi-square test.)

Results: On a Likert-type scale of 1–7, medical residents rated their PDA skills at a mean of 5.11. By the KruskalWallis Analysis of Variance statistic, there were no signifi - cant differences between residency programs. By use of the Mann-Whitney U Test statistic, it was determined that there was no statistically signifi cant difference between the PDA skills or residents and their attendings. On a Likert-type scale of 1–7, medical residents rated their EBM skills at a mean of 4.82. There was a signifi cant differences between residency programs as determined by the Kruskal-Wallis Analysis of Variance statistic. Residents were infrequent Loansome Doc users, and a disturbing 49.5% did not know how to access medical databases from off-campus.

Conclusions: Residents need more training by medical librarians in the clinical information skills of PDA use, EBM, Loansome Doc, and off-campus access.


Chicago, IL

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