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Problem-based Learning & Finding the Evidence: Current Case


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John Dewey -- My Girlfriend Heard a Noise

Up to Date will be good for both the clinical type questions as well as the background info - perhaps murmurs, endocarditis or heart failure.  Be sure to check out some of the other resources too - maybe a guideline or a systematic review.  

You will also find some great heart images in Medscape (you saw some of them during group)


Resources for this Case

Textbooks (look left)

Access Medicine - Telling AM which book to search

Finding Guidelines or Systematic Reviews

Synthesized Resources

National Organizations

Health Insurance : Pre-existing Conditions & Family Programs

Patient Information Resources



Access Medicine - By the Book

Access Medicine - Telling it Which Book to Search

Have you tried this trick?

Do the search you want (perhaps, murmur) and then use the limits that you want - so perhaps limit to heart texts like Hurst's the Heart  or Cardiovascular Physiology.


Clinical Guidelines

Finding Guidelines and Systematic Reviews

National Guidelines Clearinghouse is not the only place to find some synthesized information.  You could also try some of these resources.

Synthesized, decision support resources

Synthesized, Decision Support Resources

You have three that will have strengths for different questions.  I encourage you to not limit yourself to just one too.

National Organizations

National Organizations

Health Insurance - Pre-existing Conditions & Family Programs

Finding Info on Health Insurance for those with Pre-existing Conditions, Now & Then

This question is easier than I expected.  California has a great website about the new program called the PCIP - Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan which is part of the recent health care reform.  Because many of you will be practicing in California, I've included it here.  So, if you need to brush up your understanding and want to see what is out there, a search of websites is in order.  Whichever search engine you prefer will work just fine.  A smart searcher might want to do some of the following: 

  • be as specific as possible
  • use the limit for sites within the gov domain (site:gov)

What about the patient's family, is there coverage for them?  Again, a simple search should help you find the Healthy Families Program and details about coverage.  The same tips as above apply to this search too.

Curious about what things were like before?  Journal articles, editorials & news stories from several years ago will help you gain that perspective. 

  • Medical perspective:  Check out PubMed and be sure to apply the date filter for the timespan in question. Perhaps, also ask for editorials with the Article type filter. 
  • Patient perspective:  Check out news stories in Google News and be sure to check the time period on the results page to get to the stories with either a current viewpoint.  (Can you find the report, HHS: Pre-existing conditions leave 12.6M adults uninsured, that outlines some of the problems that existed.)

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 about heart valves.

Search MedlinePlus: