Information Revolution: Getting the Militia Battle Ready: Improving the Information Skills of Medical Residents

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Question: How effective is East Tennessee State University (ETSU) medical library in preparing its residents to be information masters when they get into private practice?

Design: The study was designed as an effectiveness study using survey instruments to determine the informationseeking behaviors, information skill levels, information training adequacy, and sufficiency of information services/resources provided for ETSU resident physicians to prepare them as information masters when they get into private practice.

Setting: The population is ETSU residents, who were enrolled in a residency program in the spring of 2006 at an academic medical center.

Participants: ETSU has nine residency programs. There were 220 medical residents at ETSU. The whole population was surveyed as well as 150 attending physicians who work with residents.

Interventions: Two survey instruments were utilized to discover information that will lead to better user satisfaction with ETSU information training and information resources/services, thus measuring quality. One aspect of this is better understanding the clients’ information-seeking behaviors.

Main Outcome Measures: Quantitative analysis was performed with the SPSS software program. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Inferential statistics were used to analyze relationships and differences

Results: ETSU residents frequently had information needs yet infrequently sought answers. When they sought an answer they were usually successful. They preferred electronic resources and indicated time was their greatest barrier. The majority were PDA users. They believed evidence-based medicine was very important to their practice and indicated that the information received from the library changed their patient care. Most indicated a desire to have a clinical medical librarian for their program. The most frequently used resources were Google and the Web, yet they indicated these had low clinical value.


Philadelphia, PA

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