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Studying a Study and Testing a Test: How to Read the Health Science Literature

Paula A. Rochon, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1997;277(3):263. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540270089033.
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Medical literature is abundant. A MEDLINE search using the MeSH heading "clinical trials" identified over 10000 articles published in the past 5 years alone. In a health care environment in which evidence-based medicine is being actively promoted, practitioners are increasingly asked to evaluate this mass of medical publications as an aid to their clinical decision making. With expanded use of the Internet and easy access to MEDLINE, it is easy to obtain articles, but practitioners need to know more about how to critically evaluate these same articles.

To fill this gap, Richard Riegelman and Robert Hirsch, both from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, have written this book based on their years of experience teaching students how to read the medical literature. In a most enjoyable manner, the authors outline a practical step-by-step approach to help the uninitiated wade through the masses of published articles and


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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