Prior to the creation of PubMed, when Medlars/Medline was only available
to health care professionals for a fee,  I worked as a medical librarian
for many years at many Washington DC area hospitals; NLM; and the US
Public Health Services and it was unfortunate that then most medical
students, young doctors and other health care professionals didn't have
search training and access to the literature--save Index Medicus.  
Here at the Saba University School of Medicine--an American
university--in the Dutch Caribbean, I am now the Library Director as
well as the Course Director/Professor for our Research Curriculum
Evidence Based Medicine courses, where I not only instruct our students
on how to search Medline via PubMed and Ebscohost, but also to search
additional evidenced based  databases.  We begin by introducing students
to research study designs, using the PICO formula to formulate good
clinical questions; learning basic search strategies skills using MeSH
and textword searching; and how better a search by filtering the
literature when necessary.  We require all of our students to complete
an evidenced based research paper before they are assigned to their
clinical rotations throughout hospitals in the States.    

I've been working out of the country for nearly a decade and it's
surprising for me to discover that U.S. Medical schools are not focusing
on this important matter.  Glad that I have you all to keep me in the


Samuel L. Johnson 
Library Director/Associate Professor
Saba University School of Medicine
P.O. Box 1000
The Bottom
Saba, Dutch Caribbean
[log in to unmask]
011 599 416-3456 ext. 237

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of Harrow, Andrea M.
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2016 11:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: My rant about not teaching PubMed

Wow. I just assumed all med students had Pubmed training.  Thanks for
bringing this to our attention Patti Reynolds.  I never thought to ask
the students and fellows, but will now.  More work to do...

Andrea Harrow
Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of Kraft, Michelle
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2016 6:45 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: My rant about not teaching PubMed

Back when I was at a different hospital with medical students (not
pharmacy students) absolutely NONE of them had PubMed (nor Ovid or any
other database) training.
On their hospital rotations in my hospital they were asked to do
research and they were drowning.  I was totally surprised that they got
no PubMed training while they were at the medical school.
I called the librarians from the medical school that we got the students
and I was told this....

It was felt that medical students don't need to use PubMed in their
first two years of medical school education so the librarians focus on
other things.

I said fine, but then after 2 yrs you are sending them out to hospitals
to do their rotations and they are asked to do research on PubMed and
they can't.  So you are sending out unprepared students.  If they don't
need it during the first 2 yrs of medical school they definitely need it
before they do their rotations. When will it be taught?

Long story short, it wasn't being taught nor was it going to be taught
before the medical students came to my hospital.  So I worked with the
program coordinators at my hospital to have PubMed class for the
students squooshed in during one of their rotations.  It was better than
nothing and just like Patti said, every one of them mentioned they
wished they had been taught the information earlier.

***Please note this past experience is not related at all to my current


Michelle Kraft, MLS, AHIP
Senior Medical Librarian
Cleveland Clinic Floyd D. Loop Alumni Library
9500 Euclid Ave. NA 30
Cleveland, OH 44195
(216) 445-7338
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of Patti Reynolds
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2016 5:48 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: My rant about not teaching PubMed

I taught 4 pharmacy rotation students how to use PubMed. None of them
have been given the in depth education in PubMed. This is their only
career tool if they go to most hospitals. They all said to a one - they
wish they knew this sooner.
1. What are clinical queries
2. How to use MyNcbi to save collections. - during the workday 3. How to
save searches(alerts).
4. How tousle filters properly
5. How to read a complete citation for needed information and get the
most out of it There is much more that I know you all can add to.

But I am tired of hearing " I wish I had known this a lot earlier ".
From a major state school student with impeccable credentials.

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