Sep 08

Resources for teaching EBM to PAs

I sent the following to MEDLIB-L yesterday:

From: David Rothman Mailed-By:
Date: Sep 7, 2006 10:51 AM
Subject: Teaching Evidence Based Medicine

Good morning.

My library has a physician patron who has been tasked to teach a class on Evidence Based Medicine to students studying to be Physicians Assistants.

Could you please perhaps suggest some of the most important texts or resources that this patron will want to acquire and utilize in creating her syllabus and course? The patron already has Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature .

I would be grateful to have any suggestions you might have emailed directly to me at davidDOTrothmanATgmailDOTcom, and would be pleased to summarize for the list if there is significant interest.

Thank you in advance for your kind assistance and expertise.

David Rothman

Thanks very much to all who sent suggestions. These suggestions have been passed on to our library’s grateful patron, who asked that I express her thanks along with my own to you lovely, friendly, helpful people. This is the first time I’ve asked for help on MEDLIB-L, and the response was really wonderful.

I received a great number of requests to summarize for the list. I am attaching them to this blog post because MEDLIB-L does not allow attachments. (I had planned to share this information on my blog anyway.)

Please click here for the summary: Summary_Teaching EBM.xls

Also see an annotated Bibliography that could not be taken apart and added to the summary without sacrificing full attribution against the author’s wishes: ClassAnnotatedBibliography_Pappas.doc

If the MS formats cause anyone any trouble, please let me know and I’ll be glad to convert them to something else.

If anyone particularly expert in the topic would like to critique this summary and send back to me thoughts on what is really the creme de la creme in its contents, I’d welcome that.

Thanks again for your kind assistance- it is sincerely appreciated.

Aug 20

Librarian Wikis

So I already knew about the Library Success Wiki, and LISWIKI, but I didn’t know about the Library Instruction Wiki until today.

Welcome to the Oregon Library Instruction Wiki, a collaboratively developed resource for librarians involved with or interested in instruction. All librarians and others interested in library instruction are welcome and encouraged to contribute.


Are there more that I don’t know about yet?

Jul 26

Health Sciences Librarianship Wiki

Dean Giustini announces the anticipated Health Sciences Librarianship Wiki that his LIBR 534 students will start.

Here's hoping it is a bit like The Library Success Wiki.

This is great news and potentially a really useful resource to a lot of people in the profession.

I hope very much, though, that Dean allows it to be editable by even non UBC libraryfolk.  If outsiders will be allowed to contribute, Dean should count on my regular visits.

And I was JUST TODAY talking to someone about the need for a Wiki dedicated medical librarianship.  As usual, Dean is a few (or perhaps many) steps ahead of me.

Jul 08

How To Explain RAM to Non-Geeks

One of the responsibilities of my position is to teach classes.  In addition to the three computer orientation classes for new employees I teach each month, I also give classes on the general use of hospital computers, MS Office applications, and the use of hospital knowledge bases.

For some time now, computers have been used to support patient care, but with EMRs/EHRs and other clinical applications, computers are an integral part of patient care.  For this reason (among many others), clinicians need computer literacy.  At least once a month, someone asks me to explain what RAM is.  I don't want to just tell them it is an acronym for Random Access Memory, and I think the explainations available online are too complex for most of my students to start with.  With the goal of helping them understand the concept without overwhelming them with geekspeak, here's what I tell them:

Imagine your computer's processor as the little person inside your computer who does all the thinking.

Imagine that this little person inside your computer is so smart that he can think about multiple things at the same time.  Any time you open a new window in your computer (Microsoft Word, for example), he lays it on his desk so he can work on it. 

 So he's smart, but not infinitely smart.  He can concentrate on as many things as he can look at all at the same time.  So, say we open up a few more windows:


Okay, that's all good- he can see all six windows at once, so he's all good.  But what if we want to open up one more program or window?  It won't fit on his desk. 

What does the smart person inside your computer do?  He uses one hand to hold the seventh open window.  When it is that window's turn to be considered, he removes something else from the desk and places the seventh window on the desk. 

So now his ability to concentrate is constantly being interrupted by the need to keep swapping out items on his desk, so his thinking on ALL items slows way down.  What the smart little guy needs, clearly, is a BIGGER DESK so he can see more items all at once without having to swap any out.


So what is RAM?  RAM is the desk.  The more RAM, the more things the smart little person inside your computer can think about without slowing down.  When we doubled the size of the desk, we doubled the computer's RAM.

How do you explain RAM or any other computer concepts to people with no geek background?

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