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PBL Information Resources and Tools for the First Year: Current Case

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.


Books of interest outside of Access Medicine, MDConsult, or Stat!Ref.  Check UC Library Search to see what we might have on any topic.


Don't forget your course textbooks may be a helpful resource too.


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Jumoka Adeyemia & Jim Cornell: Really Bad Flu

As you wind down the cases, most of you have a good idea of where to go for your answers.  But, just in case you need to do some searching that is a little different than you have tried before, here are a few reminders of some of the tricks you might try.


Resources for this case include:

Textbook Suggestions (look left)

National Resources -- International Travel

Something different in Access Medicine -- Narrow by Textbook

Access Medicine  -- Multimedia Options

PubMed Search Tips -- a Couple of Last Reminders and Tricks

Your favorite Decision Support, Point of Care Tools

National Resources : International Travel

Something New in Access Medicine

Access Medicine - Narrow by Textbook

Don't forget the Narrow by Textbook feature in Access Medicine.  There is a very good textbook for this case -  Sherris Medical Microbiology. There are several types of books in AccessMedicine - some are very brief handbooks that give you a good start on a topic and then there are the textbooks that will fill in the details.  Curious about what books are in AccessMedicine?  Just use the Books tab at the top.  (Microbiology books are under Basic Science.) With a quick moment of pondering, you can find more and do it more efficiently. 

screenshot of the top search in AccessMedicine


 You could try malaria, TB, jaundice, or any number of topics.  Once you have done your search - narrow to the book you want.  Click on Select Textbooks and if you don't see Sherris in the list (because the list is not by relevance but by number of hits) type the first few letters to see the book and select it.

screenshot of AccessMedicine for Sherris' book You may notice that Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment book has a potentially helpful topic - in this case, thinking about the differential.  But you may also need to use another book to get more detail.  See what you can find.

Multimedia Resources

PubMed Search Tips -- a Couple of Last Reminders and Tricks

A Couple of PubMed Tips

PubMed can be a great source for current data on disease and epidemiology.  Many publications report the latest epidemiological data - CDC's MMWR (Morbitity & Mortality Weekly Report) is just one journal keeping the data current.  If you want to target a specific journal like this, you can tell PubMed to look in just that journal - simply include the title in your search.  So if you needed guidelines for opportunistic infections, try something like this:

opportunistic infections MMWR 
(of course, you can be more specific by stating the field for the journal, but simpler is often easier and this way works just fine.)

By now, you have read about a variety of PubMed search tips & tricks - try them out:

  • Use Filters
  • Use Related Articles
  • Use MeSH Terms (where appropriate)


One last tip, if you have the PMID - the unique number assigned to every record in PubMed, then you can quickly return to that specific item in PubMed. 

Try it out with the PMID 19881520 --  simply enter that as your search term in the PubMed search box instead of keyword terms.  From here, you could try the similar articles link if you haven't tried it before.  You may also find the images on this one helpful - you can see them in PubMed.

Or, another great article dealing with fever & travelers is 12181406.  For example:

PubMed search box with PMID

Since this article is a little old - here's another trick to try:  

  • Click on the See All Similar Articles 
  • Change how they display by setting the Display to Most Recent


screenshot of PubMed Similar article sorted by Most Recent

Decision Support Tools