Evaluation of 2nd and 4th year University of Sonora Medical School students’ knowledge of academic publications
Norberto Sotelo-Cruz1, Sergio Trujillo López2
1Department of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Sonora, Mexico; 2Department of Medicine and Health Sciences. University of Sonora, Mexico
Objective: To determine the extent of knowledge and frequency of use of medical literature by 2nd and 4th year medical students.
Methods: 203 medical students participated in the cross-sectional study (2nd year=101, 4th year=102). Students were asked to determine the frequency of reading medical articles, access to biomedical databases, and ability to access as well as to understand Internet search engines.
Results: The fourth year medical students frequently read medical papers more often than the 2nd year students (57% vs 28%, P<0.001). Surprisingly 95% of both groups were unaware of availability and access to complete medical papers (P=0.987). PubMed was the most consulted service for 70% of participants. Professors instructed 70% of the 2nd year students and 46% of the 4th year students (P<0.001). Both groups demonstrated equivalent knowledge on medical article structure (78% vs 76%, P=0.645).
Conclusion: Medical students in fourth year of enrolment read scientific papers more frequently than students in second year. Mexican medical websites and databases are generally unknown to medical students. Orientation and exhortation from medical educators to students into the use of Internet search engines and databases is imperative for modern medical education.