Sceptical Medic is an independent project that has naturally emerged as a result of passion and enthusiasm in medical education, digital technology and evidence based medicine. It is a modern take on traditional medical journal clubs, utilising the power of the internet and social media.
In summary, Sceptical Medic is online based, social media enhanced, critical appraisal medical journal club reviewing latest research publications in internal medicine.
Project lead is Dr Timotej Vataha, UK based Internal Medicine Trainee currently working at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
The project sets three main goals that are all focused around evidence based medicine skills.
- Improve clinical appraisal skills
- Improve knowledge of research design and biostatistics
- Keep abreast of current literature
Traditional journal clubs face multiple challenges. One of the most common is low attendance that in some cases is enforced. Sceptical Medic wants to tackle this challenge by online delivery of the content and the discussion that can happen at the convenience of the individual, respecting busy lives of the medical professionals.
Presenter who often will be one of the UK Internal Medicine Training programme candidates chooses original research article in internal medicine of their choice. The relevancy of the article should be discussed with the project lead or named responsible person. Presenter then writes a short summary of the article using standard template, exploring Background, Methods, Results and Discussion including strengths and weaknesses of the study. To enhance the learning experience, speed up the process and ensure systematic approach we use toolkit for critical appraisal of literature by Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. The summary will be published on the Sceptical Medicine website at least one week before hosting the online discussion on Twitter.
Once monthly, an online discussion is held on Twitter hosted by designated facilitator using hashtag #ScepticalMedic. This is one hour long session following predetermined script that largely resembles main sections of the published summary.
Detailed guide of the reviewing and publishing process can be viewed separately.
For participation in the development of the journal club, a certificate of appreciation will be awarded. The certificate can be downloaded in PDF and linked to the curriculum. If needed, the certificate can be validated online using a link provided on the certificate.
Additionally, summary published on the website of Sceptical Medic can be considered as non-peer reviewed online publication and can be linked to the curriculum, if desired.