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Resources

Journals

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews contain high quality, independent systematic reviews of health interventions.  It is often the best first stop when personally reviewing the literature on a health question.

Evidence-Based Medicine for Primary Care and Internal Medicine

This is a bi-monthly journal that provides expert commentary on a wide range of studies from other journals; an excellent resource.

British Medical Journal

The BMJ is an international peer reviewed journal often with articles highly relevant to general practitioners working in primary health care.  Articles are continuously published online first ahead of the print edition.

Medical Journal of Australia

The MJA is the peer reviewed journal of the Australian Medical Association.  It is published monthly.

Journal of the American Medical Association

The JAMA is an international general medical peer reviewed journal.  It is published weekly.

Canadian Medical Association Journal

This is a peer reviewed journal similar in scope to the MJA but with a Canadian focus.

New England Journal of Medicine

The NEJM is the oldest continuously published medical journal.  Its focus tends to be on internal medicine and biomedical science and as such, has less direct clinical relevance for primary health care.  Nevertheless, there are occasionally high impact studies published in the NEJM that have significant implications for general practitioners.

The Lancet

The Lancet is another prestigious old medical journal though with a somewhat different focus to the NEJM.  Again, general medicine predominates but there are a fair number of articles relevant to primary health care.

Public Library of Science Medicine

PLoS Medicine is a peer-reviewed but open-access journal; articles are free to read and distribute.

Search tools

PubMed

PubMed is an online free database and search engine of abstracts, citations and full time articles in biomedicine and life sciences.  It is maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is an extremely power search tool.  Its disadvantage compared to PubMed is that it can be difficult to restrict it to a certain range of results and be sure that you have obtained an exhaustive list.  Its advantage, however, is that it is easier to use than PubMed and much more successful at finding a specific article if you have only fragments of a reference (e.g., a topic and an author); like the rest of Google, it is intelligently tolerant of spelling errors.

Other EBM resources

  • Centre for Clinical Effectiveness
    • “We are an evidence-based practice support unit that encourages and supports health professionals, managers and policy makers to use the best available evidence to improve healthcare.  We provide information, expertise and resources to assist health service personnel in getting evidence from research into everyday clinical practice and evaluating the effect on patient care.”
  • Centre for Evidence Based Medicine
    • “The Centre for Evidence-based Medicine was established in Oxford as the first of several UK centres with the aim of promoting evidence-based health care. The CEBM provides free support and resources to doctors, clinicians, teachers and others interested in learning more about EBM.”
  • BestBETs
    • “BETs bring the evidence one step closer to the bedside, by providing answers to very specific clinical problems, using the best available evidence. Each Topic answers a carefully worded 3-part question, using a structured approach to finding and reviewing the literature. BETs are designed specifically for Emergency Medicine. The BET method allows the use of lower quality research, and lists the shortcomings of the evidence used. As with other forms of EBM topic review, each BET has a clinical “bottom line” for the busy physician.”
  • Clinical Evidence
    • “Clinical Evidence systematic reviews summarise the current state of knowledge and uncertainty about the prevention and treatment of clinical conditions, based on thorough searches and appraisal of the literature. It is neither a textbook of medicine nor a set of guidelines. It describes the best available evidence from systematic reviews, RCTs, and observational studies where appropriate, and if there is no good evidence it says so.”
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