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Fifteen years ago we sought to develop a method for teaching residents how to make lean, pithy journal club presentations. Our aim was to help them distill an article down to its core while systematically reviewing its validity and telling a compelling story. Others have created successful journal clubs by explicitly linking the educational experience to questions raised in caring for patients.1
Brief article presentations are structurally similar to the brief case presentations we do all the time. On work rounds, morning report, or sign-out, the goal is to communicate the essential information about a patient in a concise, mostly standardised format that is easily digested by the listener. We reasoned that, just as learners progress from meandering and imprecise case presentations on clinical clerkships to brief, utilitarian sign-outs as senior residents, journal club presenters can learn to efficiently convey the essence of an article.
We introduce this model of journal club presentation to medical residents in a small group workshop early during internship and then deepen residents’ skills during our clinical epidemiology course in the second year.2 Residents’ skills are reinforced and refined throughout residency at a weekly journal club attended by 10–20 residents, fellows, and faculty.
We use the following 10 step guideline to help presenters increase efficiency in assessing a study’s validity and results and to increase confidence in limiting a presentation to the core essentials. Faculty members model the process and residents learn through reflective practice.
1. DESCRIBE THE CASE OR PROBLEM THAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS PAPER
Start your article presentation with a brief case presentation, or briefly explain how the article is relevant to a patient or problem you are considering. This helps listeners more fully engage with your presentation and makes it more of a story.
For example, “An otherwise healthy 68 year old man came to see me after he suffered a …