JC Guidelines

What is the purpose of Journal Club

  • Learn and teach your peers about critical evaluation of literature
  • Update yourself and your peers on evidenced based medicine
  • Practice in giving a formal presentation

Picking an Article

  • Select an article that is relevant to the larger internal medicine audience.Any questions that you have come across during your clinical care
    • Subspeciality topics are okay but you want to pick a topic that your colleagues will also learn from. Avoid getting too esoteric
    • If the methods are valid, would it change the way we diagnose, treat, or conceptualize the clinical problem or would clarify management of something currently controversial?
  • original research
    • The goal is to focus and learn about the statistical methods in evaluating literature as you apply to your clinical practice
    • An RCT is not the only valid study design. We glean valuable information from well-designed observational studies (cohort, case-control, etc.).  These designs can answer questions where it may not be ethical, feasible, or practical to perform an RCT.
  • Where to look? Aside from the obvious choices of NEJM and JAMA, look at the Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA Internal Medicine, American Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal,  Lancet, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal of Hospital Medicine, among many others.

What is the format of Journal Club

  • One presenter will choose a recent publication of interest
  • You will identify 2-3 methods relevant to the article
    • You will review the specific skill separate from the article itself and then discuss why this methods was chosen in the given study
    • I.e. review of intention-to-treat analysis and why this approach was chosen, bias in measurement of outcome, loss to follow-up, unrepresentative subjects, effect size/number-needed to treat, confidence intervals for negative studies, etc.
  • You will identify 2-3 clinical/practice points from the article. Do not spend too much time here, as the focus is the methods, but helpful to wrap up with any clinic implications from the article


  • We want you to develop your presentation and speaking skills
  • In order to do this, you should plan to send the chief resident multiple drafts over the course of 3-4 weeks prior to your talk 
  • Visuals: 
    • Consider adopting the Visual Abstract approach. Even if you don’t want to fully adopt this concept, it is a helpful guide on how to use graphics in a powerpoint. 
    • In general, fewer words is best! You want the audience to listen to you! The graphics are there to assist  you in delivering your concept
    • Please also see the RUT link for additional guidelines
  • https://cjasn.asnjournals.org/sites/default/files/CJASNVisualAbstractPrimer.pdf

General Format

  • Duration: 35-40 minutes
  • Allow 5-10 minutes for questions


  • Identify a faculty mentor to assist you in the content and evidence analysis
  • Work with the chief resident mentor on your format/graphics/presentation style
  • 4 weeks prior: email your chosen paper to the chief resident
  • 2-3 weeks prior: email an outline of your talk to the chief resident. You should read and evaluate the paper with your faculty mentor by this stage
  • 1-2 weeks prior: email a draft of your slides to the chief resident. Expect to have 2-3 exchanges of the draft with the chiefs!


     Relative Risk Quick Notes

Users' Guides to the Medical Literature : A Manual for Evidence-based Clinical Practice