Journal Club

College of Pharmacy

Guidelines on Presenting at Journal Club

Journal clubs continue to adapt to new technology and methods of communication.

Aims:  Journal clubs are educational interventions that can improve reading habits, knowledge of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, and the use of medical literature in clinical practice.

During the course of the program, each third-year students will be responsible for presenting at least three to four Evidence-Based Medicine Journal Club meetings on a topic related to pharmacy or its subspecialties. This experience fulfils several goals of the research curriculum such that at its conclusion each resident will be able to: 1. Conduct structured critical appraisal 2. Understand the limitations of the application of evidence 3. Recognize and understand basic study design, distinguishing weak from strong methodology 4. Gain familiarity with basic statistical tests 5. Gain insight into a specific clinical problem 6. Hone skills related to oral and written presentations . 

Expectations: Presenting Resident You will be assigned an article, a date and a preceptor. Except under extraordinary circumstances, these will not be changed. Any problems with either assignment (article, date or preceptor) should be brought to the attention of the Chief Resident or Program Director as early as possible. The primary responsibility for the EBM Journal Club rests with the presenting resident and the faculty preceptor. Responsibilities

1. You will be assigned a primary article and a faculty preceptor 6 weeks prior to your presentation (see criteria for articles below).

2. Once you have read and reviewed the article, ensure that the article is distributed to the residents and faculty at least 2 weeks prior to the date of your presentation. This can be done electronically via email to the Residents mailing list from your registered address. (PDF's are preferred but hard copies may be placed in the Chief Resident’s office).

 3. Pick 1-3 supporting articles to go with the primary article. Supporting articles might include up-to-date reviews, classic articles on the subject or studies that support or refute the results of the primary article.

 4. Read the article and decide what type it is (Therapy or Harm, Prognosis, Diagnosis, Symptom prevalence, Economic or Decision Analysis). Most articles will fall into the first three categories. Worksheets are best used to analyze and evaluate the article content (see Resources).

5. Develop your presentation and produce a final critique.

Process:  A recent systematic review identified 3 "best practices" for journal clubs: (1) use of a structured checklist, (2) explicit written learning objectives, and (3) a formalized meeting structure and process.

Article Selection:  Articles will be selected by the Chief Resident in conjunction with the Program Director and will comprise core pharmacy articles published within the prior 2 years from one of the five frequently cited medicine journals:


1. Issues addressed by the article—what is the research question? Why does it matter? How does it fit with what already is known? How can it help solve important problems for practice or policy?

2. Design of the study— is the study design appropriate for the question and what already is known about the question?

3. Study methods—to what degree can the findings be accounted for by:

  • How participants were selected?
  • How key variables were defined and measured?
  • Confounding (false attribution of causality because two variables
  • Discovered to be associated actually are associated with a third factor)?
  • How information was interpreted?
  • Chance (as indicated by inferential statistics)?

4. Main findings—does this study advance current knowledge?


5. Generalizability—How transportable is the findings to other settings, particularly to my patients, practice and community?

6. Implications—how can the information be used to change practice, policy or training?

7. Constituencies—who are the constituencies for the findings, including patients, and how might they be engaged in interpreting or using the findings?

8. Next steps/new questions—what are the next steps in interpreting or applying the Findings? What new questions arise and how might they be best answered?


 Your presentation will be done in PowerPoint® and should be roughly organized as follows:

• Topic Background (state why this is important) 3 min

• Outline a hypothetical (or real) case (one slide, keep it brief) 2 min

• Present the paper (make use of figures and tables) 10 mins Methods and Results

• Present your critical appraisal (this is best done with a slide for each of the questions outlined above and your answers for each). 10 min

 • Sum up, derive your conclusion and how these results will affect YOUR practice.