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Curriculum and Instruction | International and Comparative Education | Library and Information Science | Medicine and Health Sciences



Many academic health sciences libraries have been moving towards active participation in the curriculum at their institutions.1 At the same time, many medical schools have completed, are working upon or are considering movement to an integrative curriculum, (the melding of basic sciences and clinical learning), based on suggested AAMC competencies.2We will discuss how libraries at two New England medical schools have successfully embraced roles in the their school’s curriculum, which are at different stages of adoption of new integrative curricula.


The teaching of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) is an area ripe for collaboration between a medical school and its library. The libraries at both Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) now offer EBM instruction within their medical school curricula. HMS is refining its new integrative curriculum while UMMS is in the planning stages with implementation targeted for AY 2010. Teaching time, location within the curriculum, general content and methods between the programs at these two schools will be examined and compared.


UMMS conducts all of its EBM instruction within a traditional 3rd year clerkship format. HMS covers similar content online in a 1st year combined basic science/clinical course. However, the libraries at both institutions have successfully facilitated the incorporation of this important topic into required coursework.


Reflections on the following themes are included in the poster on:
Staff and resources/workload
Adding content into a packed curriculum
Library expertise
In person vs. online instruction
Progressive versus single encounter instruction


While at different phases of curriculum redesign, the academic libraries at UMMS and HMS have demonstrated the effectiveness of varied methods of teaching Evidence-Based Medicine within a medical school curriculum.

1Burrows, Suzetta, et al. "Developing an "evidence-based medicine and use of the biomedical literature" component as a longitudinal theme of an outcomes-based medical school curriculum: year 1." Journal of the Medical Library Association 91.1 (2003):34-41.

2Association of American Medical Colleges. The Education of Medical Students: Ten Stories of Curriculum Change. New York: Milbank Memorial Funds, 2000.

Presented at the Northeast Group on Educational Affairs (NEGEA) Regional Conference on May 2, 2009, in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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2009 Northeast Group on Educational Affairs (NEGEA) Regional Conference