How to Keep Up with the Medical Literature: I. Why Try to Keep Up and How to Get Started Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Patient care is often outmoded because physicians lack awareness about important advances in medical knowledge. According to physicians, reading journals is the most popular method for staying informed, but the great volume of journal literature precludes clinicians' from reading all of it. In this first of six articles on keeping up with the medical literature, we describe three strategies to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of journal reading. First, priority should be given to reading original articles concerning reports of planned investigations because only these articles provide sufficient details to assess the relevance, validity, and clinical application of new knowledge. Second, reading should be restricted to articles of direct pertinence to one's clinical practice. Third, the methods section of articles should be quickly screened first to select studies that have used sufficiently high standards to warrant clinical action based on study results.

publication date

  • July 1, 1986