Our objective was to describe and evaluate an educational intervention for teaching preclinical medical students enrolled in a family medicine preceptorship to use evidence-based medicine (EBM) techniques.
In a brief workshop, 94 preclinical students, enrolled in a 4?week family medicine preceptorship, learned an EBM approach to clinical decision making.
Students were responsible for completing four patient case summaries to document that they had searched selected databases and obtained feedback from their preceptors.
We then evaluated (1) the percent of students documenting EBM processes, (2) the students' perceived self-efficacy, (3) the level of the students' EBM learning, and (4) preceptors' attitudes toward using the EBM project as the focus of their feedback.
All students succeeded in identifying the factual knowledge that they had used to convert information from patient encounters into searchable clinical questions.
The preceptors provided case-specific, written feedback to all students.
Students gave lesser ratings of importance to EBM and self-efficacy in using EBM after the preceptorship as compared to after the brief introductory workshop.
Preceptors acknowledged that the project helped them to focus their feedback and to reconsider patient management practices.
Students learned to use an EBM process and became more familiar with and more realistic about their self-efficacy in using EBM. Preceptors and preclinical medical students can learn and hone EBM skills together.