How well do Prevocational Trainees Practice Evidence Based Medicine?

EBM-USYD project image

Office of Postgraduate Medical Education - research Projects

Evidence-Based Medicine Research Project

Evidenced Based Medicine (EBM) is the newer paradigm of medical practice endorsed and promoted by universities and healthcare institutions both nationally and internationally. One of the most consistent findings in health services research is the gap between best practice (as determined by scientific evidence) and actual clinical care. Whilst it is hoped that new graduates are competent in evidence based practice, medical students' confidence in their own EBM ability may not match their actual skills.

The lack of easy access and cost of up-to-date evidence, poor searching skills and inadequate time are cited as barriers to EBP by clinicians. NSW Health’s Clinical Information Access Program (CIAP) aims to address the access and cost problems for hospital doctors.

Our project aims to address the gaps in our knowledge of how interns practice EBM using the following three outcome measures: 1) a validated EBM competency test (Fresno) to assess doctors’ EBM knowledge and skills, 2) individual doctors’ web log analysis of the use of EBM support services using the CIAP, and 3) a self assessment questionnaire to ascertain the perceived EBM competencies, preferred learning methods and factors that facilitate and impede EBM.

The identification of strategies for intern EBM training enhancement, including user/time-friendly, web-based assessment methods, will be one of the main outcomes. The study will also promote the ongoing work in implementation of the Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors by providing insights into what facilitates and impedes the practice of EBM during internship.