Community Doctors Brush up on Medical Evidence on the Internet

Bob Sekerak, MLS demonstrates the evidence pyramid.

Primary care physicians gathered in St. Albans, Barre, and St. Johnsbury to attend late afternoon classes on finding evidence-based information using the Internet and the resources of Dana Medical library. The classes, named “Timely Access to Evidence-Based Information for Patient Care,” were approximately an hour long and conferred one Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit.

Librarian and outreach educator Bob Sekerak, MLS, conducted the classes in cooperation with the UVM College of Medicine Office of Primary Care and the Northeastern and Champlain Valley Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) to reach community physicians who teach medical students (preceptors). Attendees learned how to answer patient care questions as they arise in clinical practice on a daily basis. The instructor showed how searches using free Internet search engines such as PubMed, TRIP and Google can be combined with Dana Library licensed databases such as DynaMed to identify quality medical information from the literature. He also demonstrated how to distinguish the level of medical evidence and assess the quality of scientific information. Locating the full text of electronic medical journal articles was also covered. The focus was on information resources that preceptors can use where they practice and teach without being on the UVM/FAHC campus.

Responses to the classes to date have proved positive.  One student participant, a clinical faculty member, remarked,  “[there’s a] huge variety of information available via Dana….”  Another commented,“[Today’s session showed how to] access all the information I need to practice evidence based medicine.” Only one preceptor attending the classes previously knew about access to Dana’s resources and services, although he did not know their breadth and depth.

Additional classes were given at the Thomas Chittenden Health Center, Williston, and the Plainfield Health Center. Additional classes are planned at Grace Cottage Hospital, Townshend; the Porter Medical Center, Middlebury; and at the Dana Medical Library on 3/16 and 4/13 from 5 – 6 pm.

Funding for this statewide education series was received from National Institutes of Health contract with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine-New England Region. Additional support was provided through the UVM AHEC/Office of Primary Care SEARCH program funded by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

For information about additional time and locations for the “Timely Access to Evidence-based Information” class series or to register, contact: Bob Sekerak, MLS, Outreach Education Coordinator, at 802-656-8471 or

Research Support Series Videos Available

Video and audio recordings of the Funding to Publication library instruction sessions are now available. This fall the series focused on the research needs of graduate students, though attendance was open to all UVM and FAHC employees and students. The recordings are available along with other session materials on the series web site at The recording features all slides and teacher instruction audio from the series.

A total of 44 graduate students, residents, nurses, faculty, and staff attended one or more of the six sessions. Topics included: advanced literature review skills; managing references with EndNote; poster publishing; scholarly publishing issues; and grant-finding resources.

Surveys conducted during and after the series showed that students valued the time spent working with the databases and software described during the sessions. Attendees noted that the series was arranged very well, and that they would recommend it to their colleagues.

The librarians running the series were especially appreciative of feedback received. They are also using the videos to assess the quality of the sessions. The Library plans to offer a similar series in the fall of 2011 and incorporate some of the suggested changes from participant feedback and video analysis. Please contact Donna O’Malley if you are interested in attending.

World of Mobile Health Information Gets Bigger at Dana

The Dana Medical Library licenses and provides access to a growing list of titles suitable for mobile use. Some resources are “apps,” applications downloaded and installed on a smart phone or other handheld device. Others are simply web-based resources that have been formatted to be used more easily on a handheld device. Apps require no connectivity to the Internet, whereas web-based resources are only accessible through a Web browser and require the device to be online, either through a phone and data plan or wireless connection.

A mix of resource apps and web-based resources licensed by Dana Library for the health sciences community include:

Natural Standard – a database of complementary and alternative therapies
– evidence based summaries of disease topics
– drug and disease information and clinical calculators
Clinical Pharmacology
(UVM users only) – a drug and pharmaceutical database
MDConsult Mobile
includes e-textbooks, e-journal content, patient education and drug information.
– includes e-textbooks, images, the Current series and the popular title called Diagnosaurus.

In addition, the University of Vermont’s library catalog is now available in a mobile version:

For directions on how to download, install or access individual resources, see the Library’s Web page ( or ask for help at one of the information services desks at Dana.

Other popular resources available for free for mobile devices include:

MedlinePlus consumer health information from the National Library of Medicine
ePocrates RX
drug information
rapid calculations of common equations
for handhelds

The online health-information world is increasingly going mobile. In October 2010 there were 250,000 apps for the iPhone, over 30,000 apps for phones running Android, and several thousand for those who have Blackberry devices according to Pew’s Mobile Health 2010 report. (

Medical Subject Headings: What’s old is new again!

In November 2010 the National Library of Medicine (NLM) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first edition of Medical Subject Headings, commonly known as MeSH. The 1960 edition contained 4,300 descriptors in an alphabetic arrangement. These subject headings were designed to be used for both the indexing of journal articles as well as the subject description of books. In fact, MeSH is often considered the first vocabulary thesaurus engineered for use in a computerized environment.

Today, MeSH continues to evolve and grow. The 2011 edition contains more than 26,000 subject headings arranged in an eleven-level hierarchy. Medline database searchers still rely on the power of the MeSH controlled vocabulary to retrieve the most relevant citations from the almost 5,500 journals indexed by NLM. Annual revisions and updates ensure that MeSH remains useful as a means of categorizing medical knowledge for clinicians, researchers, academics, and the general public. Although MeSH is 50 years old, it is still new each year!

For example, there were big changes for Algae in 2011. The descriptor, Algae, was actually deleted and replaced by the MeSH heading: Eukaryota. Also all of Algae‘s more narrow concepts (its children if you will) have been replaced by updated terms, like Algae, Brown is now Phaeophyta and Algae, Green is replaced by Chlorophyta.

Likewise, the Sex Differentiation Disorders concepts have been totally revised and updated based on updated classification and new nomenclature recommendations established by the 2006 International Intersex Consensus Conference. Sex Differentiation Disorders has a new MeSH concept to describe this category of disorders: Disorders of Sex Development. Along with this new, broad term, its associated concepts have been updated to reflect 2011 terminology and include: Adrenogenital Syndrome, Ovotesticular Disorders of Sex Development, and Gonadal Dysgenesis.

If you want to learn more about using MeSH subject headings in Medline/PubMed while making your literature search results more on target, please contact a reference librarian at the Dana Medical Library (656-2201 or

Dana Faculty and Staff News

Bon Voyage to Angie Chapple-Sokol, Nursing Librarian

Angie Chapple-Sokol, MLS

Library Assistant Professor Angie Chapple-Sokol is currently on a one year leave of absence to accompany her husband to France for his work. Angie is especially known for her dedication as Nursing Liaison but she also works with the departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine. Her extensive knowledge of EndNote and her work integrating information resources into FAHC’s electronic health record, PRISM, are also appreciated.

Angie has been working diligently for nurses at FAHC and throughout the state since fall 2005 when she became the Dana Nursing Liaison. She is an active participant on the Evidence Based Practice team of nurses at FAHC and has developed a library and research instruction program that is incorporated into every Central Nursing Orientation new nurses at FAHC must attend. These classes always get excellent evaluations and are cited as one of the high points of the entire orientation. In 2009 Angie was awarded the Annual Vermont State Nurses Association (VSNA) Non-Nurse Distinguished Service Award for her stellar work with nurses across Vermont.

Join us in wishing her the very best on her year abroad; she will be sorely missed by her colleagues and the staff, students and faculty of the departments she serves.

Welcome Fred Pond

Fred Pond, MLS

Library Associate Professor Fred Pond joins the Dana staff starting immediately to help cover Angie’s absence. In addition to serving as Nursing liaison to Fletcher Allen and UVM, Fred will also be working on the reference desk.

Fred hails from Tunbridge, VT and has been working in health sciences libraries since the early 1980s. From 1989 to 2004 he was the Nursing & Biomedical Librarian at Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Since that time he has completed various consulting projects and been an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. Fred looks forward to working again with nurses.

In his free time, Fred digitizes historical film with the Vermont Historical Society and enjoys walking in the forests of Tunbridge to observe the many signs of wildlife. Stop by and welcome him to UVM!

Spotlight on: Colin McClung, Access Services

Colin McClung, Access Services

Colin’s face greets patrons at the Circulation Desk Tuesday and Wednesday days, Thursday and Friday evenings, and Saturdays. He’s always ready to help find a reserve item, check out a book or reserve a study space. But it’s Colin’s commitment to patron service and a curiosity for technology that has driven him to find creative ways to assist patrons in accessing library materials.

One application that Colin particularly likes is Jing, free software that allows you to capture what you see on your monitor and turn it into a short video with a URL. If Colin wants to explain to a patron over the phone how to look up a title in the catalog, he can “record” that action on his computer and send it in the form of a URL to the patron. It saves a lot of time and confusion as the patron can see exactly what he did to complete the task. Colin has taught other library staff how to use Jing, and together they have created several tutorials that can be found on our webpage. (See

In October of 2009 Colin presented “Using Jing to Add Swing to Your Tutorials” at the Dartmouth October Conference, a conference for New England academic librarians sponsored by the Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries. Colin continues to explore technology and inform his colleagues on his findings, making him a valued asset at Dana.

Colin recently celebrated his 4 year anniversary at the Dana Medical Library.

Fewer print journals means more study space


If you’ve been into Dana recently, you may have noticed a few physical changes. In response to a number of comments from patrons that there are times when it is hard to find a good spot to study, staff at Dana have started to look carefully at the space and ways we can make room for more people.

In recent years many journal titles are being used more online than in print. Over the last 3 years, the Library has switched about two thousand print subscriptions to electronic subscription. This change has had benefits in cost saving, patron satisfaction and freed up space in the Library. We have now removed empty shelving and replaced it with a combination of comfortable seating and tables and chairs.


The Library also recently reduced the audio-visual collection size to only the most current, relevant and utilized materials, again freeing up shelf space. Those shelves will be removed and study carrels will take their place. We moved the remaining DVD’s, films and videos to a new but still convenient location.

Come to Dana and check out our new study spaces, and, as always, let us know what you think!

New Nursing and Rehabilitation Databases

New resources for 2011:

Nursing@OVID is a portal page that encompasses nursing databases such as CINAHL; Nursing Reference Center, and full text e-books. All are searchable simultaneously through the popular and intuitive OVID search software.

Rehabilitation Reference Center is an evidence-based clinical reference tool for use by rehabilitation clinicians at the point-of-care. RRC provides therapists and students with the best available evidence for their information needs in the areas of:

* Physical Therapy
* Occupational Therapy
* Speech Therapy
* Athletic Training/Sports Medicine/Exercise Physiology

ComDisDome focuses on the literature of speech-language pathology and audiology. ComDisDome can help faculty, students, and clinicians in the communication sciences keep up with the latest research findings, improve patient communication and education, write research reports and grants, and identify and communicate with prominent researchers in the field.

UVM/FAHC patrons have access to these databases as a result of negotiated price reductions, cost-sharing, and the cancellation of more journals in print format.