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The Beginner’s Guide to Making Meaning of Medical Research

Rommie L. Duckworth Evaluating Medical Research

If you’re the person who wants to know “Why?” and are looking to take your first steps into finding, understanding, and making meaning from research, then this class is for you. Set the statistics aside for now. Where we tell you where to find original research as well as expert commentary on that research. You’ll learn how to decide what research is worth reading, how to tell which research is going to change practice and which is simply raising new questions. Most importantly you learn to begin applying relevant research to your own work. Making meaning of medical research is a must-have skill for any modern healthcare provider and this class will help you get started.

Key Concepts:

Define EBM

Recommendation Strength and level of evidence

Define “original research”

Where to find research to read

Is it worth reading? (abstract)

Appraising using AA BB CC method

Types of studies / research (prospective randomized controlled double-blinded)

The format of a research paper

Correlation vs causation

Generalizing and applying (or not)

Define critical review

Where to find critical reviews


Cochrane reviews

Teaching Formats:


-Case studies

-Question and Answer

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Explain how levels of recommendation and strength of evidence apply to modern medical practice.
  • Identify where to find relevant research to a particular topic.
  • Appraise original medical research.
  • Apply relevant research to their own medical practice.

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