Welcome to Scalpel’s first journal club! We hope this will be the start of a series of events that helps to educate students on how to critique an academic paper, under the careful supervision of a doctor. No experience of assessing papers or being part of a journal club is necessary, just come along and learn some skills that will be essential for PEP and your future career! Below are some more details about what journal club is and how it will run:
What is a journal club?
A journal club has been defined as an educational meeting in which a group of individuals discuss current articles, providing a forum for a collective effort to keep up with the literature.
Why should I be involved?
There are many advantages of participating in a journal club, including keeping abreast of new knowledge, promoting awareness of current research findings, learning to critique and appraise research, becoming familiar with the best current clinical research, and encouraging research utilization. As a student, being involved in a journal club is a selling point on a surgical CV and provides an opportunity to network with like-minded students and doctors to discuss relevant issues in surgical practice and education.
Why critique research?
The overall goal of a research critique is to formulate a general evaluation of the merits of a study and to evaluate its applicability to clinical practice. A research critique goes beyond a review or summary of a study and carefully appraises a study’s strengths and limitations. The critique should reflect an objective assessment of a study’s validity and significance. A research study can be evaluated by its component parts, and a thorough research critique examines all aspects of a research study.
How will the journal club run?
Each month the Scalpel committee will select a topical surgical research paper to be discussed. The paper will be available to access and read via the UOM library and will be advertised on the Scalpel Facebook page and website a week in advance of the meeting. The meeting discussion will be facilitated by a surgical doctor with an interest in research. The meeting will be hosting online via twitter/the scalpel web page lasting 45-60mins, in this time we will discuss and critique the paper considering some of the common questions asked when critiquing a paper (see post below).
The first paper we will dicuss on the 7th of April can be accessed using the following link on the University’s network / VPN. The paper is comparing the cosmetic outcomes and associated pain when using cutting diathermy vs scalpel incision: