Does reading medical journals sound boring and geeky? Tiago Villaneuva and Balaji Ravichandran explain why they think starting to read medical journals while you are at medical school is invaluable
As medical students, you might well be familiar with the scenario where colleagues discuss a recent paper they read in the New England Journal of Medicine, BMJ, or Lancet with their hospital consultants. Medical journals are a way for doctors to keep abreast of the most recent and relevant developments in their field. This is essential for long term medical practice, as medicine is a constantly changing field. The first line treatment for an infectious disease yesterday might well be contraindicated today, and any textbook will be out of date by a couple of years when a new edition appears.
Journals are an important way of disseminating relevant medical information to clinicians and researchers alike—from recent case reports to potentially dangerous drug interactions. Critical appraisal of research articles will help to develop the most valuable skills used in everyday medical practice.
However, the already overburdened medical student will not find