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PBL Information Resources and Tools for the First Year: Case #9: Pulm Block, Jimmy Cox -- Doc, Why am I so out of breath?

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.


I have included only a few texts below; however, you will find links to some great additional resources in Roger.  If you really want online resources, see the box below for details on how to do that in Roger.

Roger "Modify" Search Tip

Searching for information on COPD brings up an interesting challenge.  The acronym is so prevelent that you will find results using just COPD, but you will also miss key items without searching for the full phrase "chronic obstructive pulmonary disease".  So, the anwer is to use both combined with an OR.

Roger search for COPD


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Doc, Why am I so out of breath?


From inhalers in general to albuterol and tiotropium to treatment for COPD, the drug information sources will be a big help.  


Don't forget, your course textbooks will be a good place to do some searching too.

Resources for this case include:

Textbook Suggestions (look left)

Resource Highlight -- Clinical Pharmacology

National or State Organizations - Lung & Rare Disease Orgs

Cochrane Library -- Quickly Getting to the Evidence

Those Synthesized Resources

Smoking & Genetics Resources, Redux

MedlinePlus -- Search Widget

Resource Highlight - Clinical Pharmacology

Clinical Pharmacology:

Our drug resource databases often have more than just drug information.  For example, did you realize that CP is another reference for checking Lab Values?  Just look under the "Resource Center."

Clinical Pharmacology lab values


It also has patient information sheets, so as you learn more about a particular drug, you can also easily find patient information about the drug.  CP calls them MedCounselor sheets - you can find them under Patient Education.


Clinical Pharmacology is a great resource for anything that is drug related.  Not sure what to prescribe for a specific condition?  Simply type the disease or condition in the search box and find what you need in the results lists - probably the top one.  For example try typing in COPD and look for the one about the disease.  You will get a list of possible drugs and to see more indepth info, click on the little symbol for the drug.  Another reason to get familiar with CP (or Micromedex) is that it is an UCSD Medical Center approved resource for patient care.  They prefer for drug information to come from one of these resources so get to know it now.

National & State Organizations

Organizations for Lung Diseases & Rare Disease Information

Some of the ones below have patient level info and some of them also have health professional level information.  All will be great ones to note for future use. 

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Searching for Evidence - Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews


If you try a search in Pubmed for smoking cessation, there are SO MANY articles on this topic that you might feel a little overwhelmed.  An earlier tip of using some Limits or Filters might help, but there is another tool that might be better for drilling into some articles with high levels of evidence - specifically Systematic Reviews.  For quick access to high quality evidence, try searching Cochrane's Database of Systematic Reviews.  For example, see what they have on smoking cessation for patients like Jimmy.

Try a search for smoking cessation & COPD --  is there anything recent on the best way to approach quitting smoking.



This tool is great for boiling down multiple studies into one with the added benefit of synthesizing the data so that it is quickly readable.

Those Synthesized Tools

eMedicine & Up to Date

These point of care tools  will have some info for you on several of the topics this week from COPD to AATD.  

Life-long Resources -- Smoking Cessation & Genetics Review

The following resources are available to everyone without a subscription and for the most part have been developed with government funding.  These tools will be available to you even when you graduate and move on from UCSD. 

MedlinePlus: Information Tool for Patients

MedlinePlus is a great place to find consumer-friendly materials along with directories, a dictionary & encyclopedia, and more.  Take a look and see what you find as a starting point - perhaps with pursed lip breathing.

Search MedlinePlus: