What is PCARES?

PCARES = Pediatric Critical Appraisal of Research and Evidence-Based Medicine Skills. The goal of the curriculum is to encourage us as physicians to evaluate evidence to inform our practice. For each PCARES session, residents should aim to evaluate the quality of the scientific evidence and the applicability of the article to your daily medical practice.

All articles and resources will be emailed to residents and will be made available with links at the bottom of this page (accessible while on a hospital computer or through VPN).

Objectives of our PCARES curriculum

  1. Review statistical, epidemiological, and evidence based medicine concepts,
  2. Comprehensively and concisely present an article,
  3. Critically appraise scientific evidence,
  4. Encourage active discussion among the participants, and
  5. Incorporate evidence-based medicine into practice.

What is my role as a journal club presenter (PGY1s leading each session)?
  • PGY1 residents are assigned to groups of 2-3 to present at one journal club during the calendar year (you will receive an Outlook calendar event invitation this week).
  • Each group will work with a designated faculty mentor and an article (we will share the schedule once the article selections and mentor designations have been finalized).
  • Review the journal club article with your partners and faculty mentor – we strongly encourage you to use some of the resources below.
  • Meet with your faculty mentor at least 1 week prior to your presentation to review the content of your presentation – please contact your faculty mentor several weeks in advance to coordinate your meeting.
  • Recommendations for organizing your presentation:
    • A slide or two discussing the clinical problem – the focus of the research
    • Presentation of the journal article, ideally using the “I can present that paper in under 10 minutes” format (feel free to use more like 15-20 minutes though!)
    • A discussion regarding some of the EBM appraisal skills from your assigned article – your mentor can help with this.

What is my role as a participant (all residents, except those who are presenting)? 
  • Review the article prior to journal club, considering these questions:
    • What is the question the researchers are trying to answer?
    • Are the results of the study valid?
    • What are the results of the study, and are these results significant and/or clinically meaningful?
    • Can these results be applied to my patients?
  • Think about challenges and considerations you had when answering these questions and bring for discussion!

How do 
appraise a journal article? 

This is an important skill and takes a lot of practice! We will work on this skill during all of our Journal Clubs, using landmark articles as our examples.

  • JAMA Evidence User’s Guide to the Medical Literature – this is a foundational set of articles in JAMA on how to appraise different types of studies – this is the best reference and will give the most detail on how to approach the questions above (available via JAMA – link will be made available soon)
  • Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine – offers summary worksheets that can help to guide appraisal of a journal article (link will be made available soon)

Presentation Dates

  • Journal Clubs typically occur once per 4-week block, during noon conference of the second Wednesday of the block, though there is some variation based on other scheduling needs of residents and faculty.
  • Outlook Calendar invitations to be sent to presenting PGY1s – dates are assigned for PGY1s to present during one of their +2 blocks.

Any questions or concerns? Please email the Chief Residents!