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Title Factors Affecting Students' Use of MedLine
Author(s) Miranda Lee Pao, Suzanne F. Grefsheim, Mel L. Barclay, James O. Woolliscroft, Mark McQuillan, and Barbara L. Shipman
Source Computers and Biomedical Research, Vol. 26, Pages 541-555
Publication Date 1993
Abstract MedLine search transcripts by a class of third-year medical students were analyzed. The 184 students were divided into three groups according to their search experience in terms of the number of sessions logged at the time of a search assignment. A strong relation was found between the level of search experience and the frequency of use in the following 5 months. Over 80% of the students were able to retrieve a few useful items for an emergency clinical situation. More experienced searchers were able to retrieve more relevant items than less experienced searchers. However, no relation was found between search effectiveness and clinical knowledge as indicated by two scores derived from the University of Michigan's Comprehensive Clinical Assessment examination and Part II of NBME. Similarly, clinical knowledge also did not appear to relate to MedLine search experience. More exposure to MedLine during medical school could play an important role in developing effective literature searching skills for lifelong learning, which is essential for today's health professionals.

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