Self-Directed Learning Project

We need to do a self-directed medicine project in each required clerkship. This boils down to these steps.

  1. Find a patient that you had a question about.
  2. Find an article (for this rotation, it has to be a systematic review) and analyze it
  3. Teach us what you learned
  4. Reflect on how you would use this information with future patients

STEP 1: Find a patient

Keep track of your patients and look for one on which you had a question. Try to pick something that will be relevant to your future career.

STEP 2: Find an article

Once you’ve found an article, complete this rubric for evaluating systematic reviews. It is a Google Document, so you’ll need to make your own copy (File –> Make Copy), fill it in, then send a PDF version (File –> email as attachment) to Karmen and Rahul.

STEP 3: Teach us something

Part of the process is teaching, so prepare a SHORT presentation. Academic Medicine is full of bad PowerPoint. Don’t subject us to the same. Here’s a video on the science of multimedia learning using the theories of cognitive psychologist Richard E. Mayer as it applies to PowerPoint.

You don’t have to use PowerPoint. Be creative. But it MUST be less than 5 minutes.

STEP 4: Reflect on how this information changed your practice

Did what you learned make a difference in how you’ll practice? Why or why not?

The Assignment

Medical education is quickly moving from textbooks with 10 year old information and even journals with 2 year old information to online sources which can be minutes old. So instead of giving your presentation in class, make something we can put online. This could be a short blog post (include pictures), audio or video clip, interactive materials. Be creative.

I’ll get you online access to put your submission up on the EM4RUSH student blog.

Digital Professionalism

Part of creating for the web is posting material responsibly. Rachel Ellaway proposes the following rules to maintain your digital professionalism.

  1. Establish and sustain an on online professional presence that befits your responsibilities while representing your interests
  2. Your professional identity extends into all online communities you join, and you are still a professional there
  3. Use privacy controls to manage more personal parts of your online profile and do not make public anything that you would not be comfortable defending as professionally appropriate in a court of law or in front of a disciplinary panel.
  4. Think carefully and critically about how what you say or do will be perceived by and reflect on others, including individuals and organizations. Act with appropriate restraint.
  5. Almost everything online can be monitored, recorded or data mined. Consider every action online as permanent. Think carefully and critically how what you say or do online today will be perceived in years to come.
  6. Pretence and deceit are inappropriate behaviours for health professionals. Do not impersonate or seek to hide your identity for malicious or unprofessional purposes.
  7. Be aware of the potential for digital attack or impersonation. Know how to manage and protect your reputation and what steps to take when it is under attack.
  8. Theft and piracy are not acceptable for any professionals – work within the law.
  9. Curation of information is a serious responsibility. Do not expose information to unnecessary risk and consider wisely the potential impact of any use or exchange of information you make
  10. Behave professionally and respectfully in all venues and using all media and take responsibility for modeling positive digital professionalism to others.


  1. Accessed May 18, 2015.
  2. Smith R. The trouble with medical journals. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2006;99(3):115-119.
  3. Accessed May 18, 2015.
  4. Project AO. Advancing Education in Practice-Based Learning & Improvement. 2005:1-16.
  5. Varkey P, Karlapudi S, Rose S, Nelson R, Warner M. A systems approach for implementing practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice in graduate medical education. Acad Med. 2009;84(3):335-339. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e31819731fb.
  6. Nature 438, 890 (15 December 2005) | doi:10.1038/438890a; Published online 14 December 2005
  7. Nature 438, 900-901 (15 December 2005) | doi:10.1038/438900a; Published online 14 December 2005
  8. Harvard College Writing Program. What’s Wrong with Wikipedia?
  9. Reynolds, Garr. “Slideuments” and the catch-22 for conference speakers. Accessed June 17, 2015.
  10. Cunningham, Anne Marie. Digital Professionalism. If it were only that Easy. Wishful Thinking in Medical Education. Accessed November 3, 2015.

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