Education News

Gary Teaching 1
Gary Atwood, Library Associate Professor, teaching PubMed

Librarians Present to Graduate Medical Education Committee

Nancy Bianchi and Gary Atwood gave a short presentation to the UVM Medical Center’s Graduate Medical Education Committee on October 15, 2015. Using Julia Sollenberger’s article “The Evolving Role and Value of Libraries and Librarians in Health Care (1),” as a backdrop, the presentation outlined the resources and services that the library provides to residents. Special emphasis was placed on the liaison program, which connects reference librarians to specific departments, and the literature search consultation service available to anyone doing research. The presentation concluded with a request for the resident directors to encourage their students to reach out to the library when they need assistance. After all, as Nancy Bianchi noted, we can’t answer a question if you don’t ask.

1. Sollenberger JF, Holloway RG, & Jr. (2013). The evolving role and value of libraries and librarians in health care. JAMA, 310(12), 1231–1232.

Vermont Library Association Presentation

On October 29th, Nancy Bianchi and Gary Atwood gave a presentation at the Vermont Library Association’s College and Special Libraries Section annual conference. Titled “Not Your Mother’s Library Tour,” the two described how they replaced the traditional library tour for new residents and replaced it with a more interactive discussion of the library’s resources and services. The goal of the redesign was to develop a deeper connection between the things that the residents and interns already use and what is available at Dana Medical Library. Participants were also asked to anonymously submit a research obstacle or something similar that they want the librarians to be aware of. The librarians plan to use these responses when designing future educational programs for residents and interns.

Not Another Boring Lecture

The phrase “active engagement” became more meaningful in the physical therapy curriculum this academic semester. Their information literacy instruction moved from being a largely passive series of lectures to a true active learning experience.

As doctoral candidates, physical therapy graduate students are exposed to the literature of evidence-based practice early in their academic career. They begin to learn how to navigate online databases to find the evidence for their clinical practice.

This year, PT students were instructed to complete web-based tutorials before meeting the physical therapy liaison librarian in the classroom. These tutorials reside in an online box beside a live web page that students can use. The online tutorials get the students actively using the databases prior to coming to class. Ovid MEDLINE– Advanced Searching for DPT Students is an example of one of the PT tutorials.

The pre-class preparation was followed by in-class time where the students were quizzed individually on database features and mechanics. Students then joined small groups to repeat the testing activity, and were challenged to find correct answers to quiz questions as a team. Moving away from boring lectures and toward activities that get students using the skills they’re learning can lead to engaged students and more meaningful learning experiences.

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