A novel semester-long teaching module introducing Systematic Review skills was delivered to a cohort of 14 Premedical students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar in fall 2020. The pedagogical goals in the humanities-based course included: learning the role of systematic reviews in medical research; practicing intermediate information fluency skills and advanced database searching; retrieving and assessing sources; and synthesizing and writing up results.

Each step of the process was carefully planned and supervised by three medical librarians and the instructor, and students in groups carried out a real-world systematic review on medical humanities in the Middle East. End-of-semester student feedback was used with four independently written instructor assessments for a preliminary qualitative analysis measuring the successes and challenges of the project. The impact of Covid-19 and virtual learning on student outcomes is not known. The instructor and student feedback was almost unanimous concerning the following points: 1) the project was ambitious and possibly too advanced for the existing skill sets of premedical students; 2) students struggled with the concept of systematic reviews and understanding the subdisciplines of the medical humanities. However, all the instructors agreed that the skills taught in the project are key to medical student success and parallel identical skills taught in the college’s required Evidence-Based Medicine course for iterative learning.

Results of this pilot intervention will be used to refine the project further such as creating a more detailed road map, summative and formative testing of specific skills including pre-tests and posttests, and responding to periodic longitudinal student feedback.


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