UMMS Affiliation

Office of Institutional Research, Evaluation and Assessment

Publication Date


Document Type



Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Medical Education


PURPOSE: The authors conducted a survey examining (1) the current state of evidence-based medicine (EBM) curricula in US and Canadian medical schools and corresponding learning objectives, (2) medical educators' and librarians' participation in EBM training, and (3) barriers to EBM training.

METHODS: A survey instrument with thirty-four closed and open-ended questions was sent to curricular deans at US and Canadian medical schools. The survey sought information on enrollment and class size; EBM learning objectives, curricular activities, and assessment approaches by year of training; EBM faculty; EBM tools; barriers to implementing EBM curricula and possible ways to overcome them; and innovative approaches to EBM education. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used for data analysis. Measurable learning objectives were categorized using Bloom's taxonomy.

RESULTS: One hundred fifteen medical schools (77.2%) responded. Over half (53%) of the 900 reported learning objectives were measurable. Knowledge application was the predominant category from Bloom's categories. Most schools integrated EBM into other curricular activities; activities and formal assessment decreased significantly with advanced training. EBM faculty consisted primarily of clinicians, followed by basic scientists and librarians. Various EBM tools were used, with PubMed and the Cochrane database most frequently cited. Lack of time in curricula was rated the most significant barrier. National agreement on required EBM competencies was an extremely helpful factor. Few schools shared innovative approaches.

CONCLUSIONS: Schools need help in overcoming barriers related to EBM curriculum development, implementation, and assessment.

IMPLICATIONS: Findings can provide a starting point for discussion to develop a standardized competency framework.


evidence-based medicine, EBM, medical schools, curriculum

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DOI of Published Version



Blanco MA, Capello CF, Dorsch JL, Perry GJ, Zanetti ML. A survey study of evidence-based medicine training in US and Canadian medical schools. J Med Libr Assoc. 2014 Jul;102(3):160-8. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.102.3.005. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed