Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine

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Resources for Practicing EBM

What is the ideal resource? | EBM Resources | EBM Websites

What is the ideal resource?

  • Located in the clinical setting

  • Easy to use

  • Fast, reliable connection

  • Comprehensive /Full Text

  • Effective search engine

  • Provides primary data


EBM Resources

The following is a list of some valuable resources for practicing EBM. Descriptions of these resources appear below the list.


Summaries of the primary evidence

ACP Journal Club

ACP Journal Club's general purpose is to select published articles according to explicit criteria and to abstract those studies and reviews that warrant immediate attention by physicians attempting to keep pace with important advances in the treatment, prevention, diagnosis, cause, prognosis, or economics of the disorders managed by internists. These articles are summarized in "value-added" abstracts and commented on by clinical experts. Abstracts and commentaries are reviewed at 5 year intervals and are either archived or updated. ACP Journal Club is available in print and electronic.

For more information, see ACP Online:

Clinical Evidence

Clinical Evidence is a textbook and database of clinical questions designed to help clinicians make evidence–based medicine part of their everyday practice. Hundreds of clinical questions, representing nearly every clinical specialty, cover the effects of treatments and interventions based on the best available research. Topics include commonly encountered or important conditions seen in primary care or ambulatory settings. Clinical Evidence is available in print and electronic.

For more information, see Clinical Evidence at


eMedicine is an online, peer-reviewed medical reference that provides access to information on diseases, including background, differential diagnosis, work-up, treatment, medications, and follow-up. Consumer health content began in 2003. Contributors include physicians and faculty from medical schools and medical societies. Additional resources include clinical calculators, images, CME, decision rules, and drug information. eMedicine is in electronic format and is available free.

For more information see eMedicine at

FPIN Clinical Inquiries

Clinical Inquiries are produced by the Family Practitioners Inquiries Network (FPIN). Clinical Inquiries are a series of answers to practicing physicians' questions that help FPIN achieve its goal to provide rapid, evidence based answers to family physicians.  FPIN has developed levels of answers to provide the best possible evidence based answer at the point of care.

For more information see FPIN at

InfoPOEMs: the Clinical Awareness System

The term POEM, Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters, refers to the kind of article that addresses a clinical problem or clinical question that primary care physicians encounter in their practice; that measures patient-oriented outcomes; and, that has the potential to change clinical practice if the results are valid and applicable.

POEMs are published in BMJ and American Family Physician and also available electronically via Info Retriever and Daily POEMs.

For more information see InfoPOEMS at


UpToDate is a clinical reference designed to provide quick and easy access to clinical information. It is comprised of thousands of original topic reviews written by a recognized faculty of experts who each address a specific clinical issue and provide detailed recommendations. Each topic review is peer reviewed, referenced, and offers CME credit. Patient-level information is available for some topics. UpToDate is in electronic format.

For more information, see UpToDate at



Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the MEDLINE database contains over 11 million references to journal articles in life sciences with a concentration on biomedicine.

MEDLINE is available free of charge, via PubMed, from the National Library of Medicine. It is also available for a fee from several providers including Ovid Technologies and Aries Knowledge Finder.

Access PubMed at:

The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library consists of several elecronic databases:

  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Cochrane Reviews) provides access to regularly updated, systematic reviews, maintained by the various Cochrane Review Groups.

  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), provides access to abstracts of systematic reviews, and is maintained by the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York. DARE can be accessed from the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination home page:

  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Central), a database of controlled trials identified by the Cochrane Review Groups. Most of these are in MEDLINE, but often difficult to locate.

  • Cochrane Database of Methodology Reviews (CDMR) provides a bibliography of articles and books on the science of research synthesis.

For more information see Cochrane Library at

Electronic textbooks and libraries


PIER is evidence-based clinical guidance presented electronically in a unique layered and telegraphic format. It is designed for rapid access to clinical information at the point of care. PIER includes recommendations based on all levels of medical evidence including RCTs, cohort and observational studies, case reports, and expert opinion.

For more information see ACP PIER at

Harrisons Online

This medical database is an updated version of the classic textbook, Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. Harrison's Online includes full search capabilities of the 15th edition of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, daily updates, late-breaking clinical trial data, and more. Also available in print.

For more information see Harrisons Online at

MD Consult

MD Consult provides access to medical texts, clinical practice guidelines, patient education handouts (many in Spanish), a drug information database, and full text to several medical journals. In addition, MD Consult provides an update service, summarizing articles in recent medical journals and highlighting articles that patients may be reading in the popular press.

For more information see MD Consult at


STAT!Ref is an easy to use, electronically searchable, digital medical library for healthcare professionals. Users can cross-reference and search the latest clinical information from more than 30 medical texts including Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment, Mosby's GenRX, and Griffith's 5 Minute Clinical Consult.

For more information see Stat!Ref at

Meta-Search Engines


SUMSearch is a unique method of searching for medical evidence by using the Internet. SUMSearch combines meta-searching and contingency searching in order to automate searching for medical evidence. Meta-searching means simultaneously searching multiple Internet sites (including MEDLINE) and collating the results into one page.

For more information see SUMSearch at

TRIP Plus:

The TRIP Plus database is a meta-search engine that searches across multiple sites of high-quality medical information, including PubMed's Clinical Inquiries. TRIP Plus is an electronic resource.

For more information see TRIP at

EBM Websites

NC Evidence-Based Medicine Education Center of Excellence:

Duke University Medical Center (resource materials used in Evidence-Based Medicine course):

University of Illinois at Chicago, Evidence Based Medicine: Finding the Best Clinical Literature:

University of Rochester Medical Center, Nesbit EBM Guide:

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Evidence Based Medicine Course:

Michigan State University, An Introduction to Information Mastery:

University of Virginia Health Sciences Library, Navigating the Maze:
Obtaining Evidence-Based Medical Information:

NHS Research and Development Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

Netting the Evidence - A ScHARR Introduction to Evidence Based Practice on the Internet:

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