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PBL Information Resources and Tools for the First Year: Case 5: Cardiovascular Block - Ronny Quint - Ironman

This guide provides resources and strategies for finding background, clinical and drug information, including evidence-based medicine strategies and specific information for problem-based learning exercises.


The following are textbooks of possible interest and are available either in print or online.  To find more books of interest, use the search box below. 


A bit dated now, but here's a blog post from Fierce Healthcare about patient privacy & recent(ish) social media gaffs by medical personnel including one from Tri-City Hospital in North County.

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Ronny Quint - Ironman

  Not sure where to start?  The first step is to understand what your question is -- try writing it out.  What are the aspects of this question that you will search?  Go to resources most likely to have the information you need.  Is it a clinical or a general or background understanding that you seek? Are you looking to find the best diagnostic tool for the patient or perhaps you have a treatment related question?

Resources for this case include:

Textbook Suggestions (look left)

Resource Highlight -- Point of Care Tools

Wiggers Resources

Dr. Gates DDX & Symptom Checker Tip

Cardiac Exam & Sounds

National Organizations & Guidelines

PubMed Search Tips -- Search the Title field

Patient Information Resources -- Great for easy to understand images

FWIW: Social Media & Unprofessional Behavior


Resource Highlight

Point of Care Tools

These types of resources are designed to be easy to use in the busy clinic, hospital, or doctor's office.  Each one we subscribe to has different strenghts as well as weaknesses.  Become familiar with all of them so you can quickly find the information you need and also make informed choices about which ones to use to take advantage of their strength.

Wiggers & Cardiac Catheterization Resources

It is important for everyone to understand Wiggers this week.  I found a couple of interesting animations below - check it out.  For this topic, the point of care resources like Up To Date may not have the information you need - this is more of a background type of question, so best resources will be textbooks.  I think our best resource is a print book - so don't be afraid to come look at it (Cardiovascular physiology : a clinical approach, ch. 4. Use call number WG 102 C258 1988)

Also, your lecture notes will be very helpful for this.  If you use them, reference them, and if you need help creating that citation, check out the Cite it Right page. 

DDX & Symptom Checker Resources

Symptoms and differential diagnositic information is often buried in a number of our resources.  However, a few tools (both online and for your smart phone/PDA) have special tools to help with this process.

Dr. Gates has found a very helpful text within Access Medicine - Symptoms to Diagnosis: An Evidence Based Guide.  Presented through a series of cases of patients complaining of a specific issue, then walks you through buiding the DDX and prioritizing it, and making the diagnosis.  Unlike the interactive tools that give you list, this text helps explain the thinking process. Topics include a variety of non-specific complaints from low back pain to weight loss to GI bleeding, to abdominal pain.  Check out Chapter 1 as an overview of the diagnostic process.  

The books we have include one that helps explain the thinking process (Symptom to Diagnosis) with topics that include a variety of non-specific complaints from low back pain to weight loss to GI bleeding, to abdominal pain.  One book has a list of mnemonics (Collins' book) as well as the symptom info.  Another book (Syed & Rasul's book) is organized by body areas and the last one (DDX of Common Complaints) focuses on the most common symptions and presents the way a doctor might pursue to diagnosis (images & tests).

Also listed below are some of the interactive DDX tools and their advantages.

Online Look-up Tools

Cardiac Exams & Sounds

Many of your questions this week are best answered in some of our textbooks, your course texts or even your course notes.  Several are along the left side of the page, and below are three that will be very helpful for this series of PBLs.  Two are online and the third has a CD of sounds that might be worth checking out.  

Art & Science of Cardiac Phys. Exam

The art and science of cardiac physical examination: Everything you wanted to know.  See  WG 141 R196 2006 or online version.


Auscultation skills text

Auscultation skills : breath & heart sounds: In print only, but supplemental CD is available - check it out. See WF 39 A932 2006.


DeGowin's Diagnostic Examination

DeGowin's Diagnostic Examination:  Provides great detail on how to conducted an exam including listening to and grading murmurs.  See WB 200 D3194 2009 or online version.

National & State Organizations

PubMed Search Tips

Searching PubMed

Think like an author -- what terms of your search would be important enough to be in the title?

Perhaps your question this week is to know more about echocardiogram (or echocardiography) and ejection fraction and you want to see the latest literature on this topic.  A simple keyword search in PubMed with these two terms will give you too many articles to really go through (over15,000).  How can you narrow things down a little?

Tell PubMed that echocardiogram should be in the title of the the articles it retrieves.  This is called field searching and can help focus your results down to an interesting (and much shorter) list of articles to review.  For a more encompassing search, use truncation of echocardiogra* so you get variations on this term.  You can use the Advanced Search page to select the title field or add [title] at the end of echocardiogram - like this:  echocardiogra*[title] and ejection fraction[title].

Instead of typing in [title], you can use the Advanced Search form and specify the field on the drop-down boxes.  Look for the "Advanced" link right under the search box.

Resources for Dealing with Unprofessional Behavior

Many of you will have discussed this somewhat already in your groups, but if you need to expand on the topic, here are some thoughts on how to do that.

Patient & Family Resources