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PubMed Tutorial: Intro



This tutorial is designed to teach you how to find the best evidence for clinical care in PubMed. Studies have shown that physicians generate from .16 - 1.27 clinical questions per patient they see (Davies 2007). Knowing how to search PubMed will facilitate more knowledgeable decision-making and can provide the information you need to answer difficult clinical questions.

While you may have searched PubMed in the past, this tutorial will focus on advanced features such as using Medical Subject Headings (often called MeSH terms), combining sets, and finding the best evidence for clinical questions.

Upon completion of this tutorial, you will be able to develop and carry out a PubMed search that retrieves relevant citations from the medical literature. To accomplish this, you will learn to:

  • Identify the major concepts of a clinical scenario using the PICOTT framework
  • Identify relevant subject headings for each concept of your search
  • Combine searches using the Boolean operators AND and OR
  • Apply relevant filters (or clinical queries) to focus your search on the best evidence






This case based tutorial includes two major units:

1. Searching Tips: Introduces four tips to improve your PubMed searches

Use the nextarrows to move through the first part of the tutorial

  Hands-On Search: Guides you through a search of PubMed

The navigation navigation bar will lead you through the search.

This tutorial should take you approximately 45 mins.

no ieInternet Explorer Browser Issue

You may have difficulty during the hands-on search portion in IE.
Avoid this by completing these steps (or by using Firefox or Chrome!)

- In IE, go to the Tools Menu at the top.
- Click on Internet Options.
- Select the Privacy tab.
- Click the Advanced button.
- Make sure "Override automatic cookie handling" is checked.
- Make sure Accept is chosen for both first-party & third-party cookies.
- Click OK twice.

 (You may want to change your settings back upon completion.)