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Teaching Practicing Surgeons Critical Appraisal Skills with an Internet-based Journal Club: A Randomized, Controlled Trial - American Board of Medical Specialties

This randomized, controlled study aimed to assess the effectiveness of an Internet-based journal club on general surgeon critical appraisal skills. Participants in the study group received a total of 8 packages (one package per month), each of which included a clinical and a methodological article. They received a reminder to read the articles at the beginning of each month and participated in a week long list-serve discussion mediated by an expert colleague. At the end of the discussion, the participants received reviews of both articles, written by content experts. Participants completed a validated examination that assessed their critical appraisal skills. Study results revealed that the intervention group participants performed better on the test of critical  appraisal than the control group did. Not all of the participants were able to complete work on all 8 educational packages (including evaluations), possibly due to study fatigue.  Nevertheless, the findings shed light on the evidence that multifaceted Internet-based intervention may result in improving critical appraisal skills of general surgeons.

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