AJR Journal Club
Joseph J. Budovec, Associate Professor of Radiology,
Medical College of Wisconsin, talked with InBrief about the
AJR Journal Club.
The AJR Journal Club is a recent addition to AJR, launching in 2010. Why was it established?
For radiologists, the ability to critically appraise scientific literature is a necessary skill that needs to be developed and refined during residency. When Dr. Berquist assumed his role as Editor in Chief of AJR in 2008, he recognized the need to involve residents in the journal. In addition, the ARRS recognized an unfulfilled need in resident and fellow education. Journal clubs provide an effective format to teach evidence-based medicine (EBM) and critical analysis. As is the case for other medical specialties, lifelong learning is an essential skill for radiology, and journal clubs form a core component of that skill.
Although journal clubs exist at larger academic institutions, not all radiology residency or fellowship programs include journal clubs as a part of their curricula. Some programs struggle to sustain them once they are initiated. Also, journal clubs are not limited to academic programs. Many larger practices hold journal clubs as a part of Maintenance of Certification (MOC). Consequently, the AJR Journal Club was created to help fulfill these needs.
How does the team determine which article to choose each month?
The Journal Club articles are selected from each month’s highlighted section. We try to choose articles that reinforce the principles of EBM, critical analysis, elements of biostatistics, safety, and practice improvement and that are likely to offer rich analysis and generate a vibrant discussion.
Although any AJR member may benefit from the Journal Club Study Guides, are they written with an eye toward any particular group of members?
Although the primary audience of the Journal Club Study Guides are radiology residents and fellows, all radiologists may benefit from participation in journal clubs. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) considers journal clubs to be an important activity for learning and practice improvement in which residents, faculty, and practicing radiologists participate. As 21st century medicine evolves, medical decision-making is becoming increasingly complex. Radiologists must practice evidence-based and data-driven decision-making to maximize patient care, time, and clinical efficiency. We hope that radiologists, residents, and fellows will find the AJR Journal Club to be a useful tool for critically analyzing articles, whether in whole or in part. Furthermore, we hope that the Journal Club Study Guides will promote interest in research methodology, patient safety, practice improvement, and outcome-based research.
Have you had any feedback from institutions?
Authors of articles that have been selected for the AJR Journal Club have contacted us and expressed their appreciation. Many of the authors feel that it adds an extra dimension to their work and effort.
The Journal Club team includes Margaret Mulligan of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, and Alan Mautz of The Aroostook Medical Center of Presque Isle, ME, without whom the monthly Journal Club Study Guides would not be possible. The Journal Club Study Guides are a collaborative, team effort.