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General medicine
Teaching evidence-based medicine in Mexico: a systematic review of medical doctor curriculums at a national level

Abstract

Objectives To assess the teaching of evidence-based medicine (EBM) in medical curriculums. As a secondary objective, we assessed the representativeness of science courses related to EBM.

Design and setting Systematic review. Accredited curriculums by the Mexican Council for the Accreditation of Medical Education.

Main outcome measures We provided a descriptive analysis of the required or elective EBM courses and EBM-related courses, academic credits and teaching period. EBM-related courses included research methodology, epidemiology, biostatistics, clinical research, public health, clinical epidemiology, scientific dissemination and health informatics to explore scientific education and training offered by medical schools. Additionally, we examined the curriculum’s structure, location, type of institution, total programme duration and academic credits. Data collection occurred from December 2020 to February 2021.

Results We identified 171 registered curriculums, of which we assessed 60 unique programmes (50% public) in our analysis. We identified 16 EBM single courses on the fifth and sixth semesters, of which 12 (20%) were mandatory and 4 were electives (6.7%). The allocated academic credits for EBM courses are minimal, without difference between public or private institutions, representing 0.08% of the total curriculum. Public health, epidemiology, research methodology and biostatistics courses are offered with greater frequency (55% or less) and curricular value (0.6% or less). In some cases, they are taught as combined courses. Clinical research, health informatics and clinical epidemiology are taught less than EBM, while scientific dissemination is nil.

Conclusion In Mexico, EBM teaching is limited to only one of five curriculums with minimal curricular value. A comprehensive curricular review is necessary across programmes to incorporate EBM as a first step to improve medical education and, consequently, public health. We call to action through an online, collaborative platform with several applications to optimise teaching of EBM.

Review protocol registration The systematic review protocol is excluded from the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews since this platform only accepts systematic reviews with health-related outcomes. Review protocol registration: https://osf.io/3xm2q/

  • evidence-based practice

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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