Case-based EBM instruction for Osteopathic Medical Students: A Case Report




case-based learning, evidence-based medicine, medical librarianship, medical students


Background: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an important part of graduate medical education and a learning outcome necessary for preparing students to become effective residents. However, many medical educators and librarians struggle to offer EBM instruction that is contextualized, relevant, and engaging. Case-based learning (CBL) can establish the relevance of EBM instruction sessions by using clinical scenarios that link theory to practice.   Experience: This case report describes how a college of osteopathic medicine (COM) liaison librarian redesigned a large cohort, lecture-based learning approach to EBM instruction into interactive, relevant, and contextualized CBL labs. CBL labs with smaller student groups were designed to provide an active learning environment and encourage peer-to-peer learning. The CBL format has been previously applied to EBM instruction but not quantifiably evaluated. A modified rubric was created to provide a quantifiable measurement of student performance in future evaluations.   Discussion: First-year osteopathic medical students participated in CBL sessions, integrating EBM into their curriculum. The small groups facilitated personalized guidance, peer-to-peer learning, and critical thinking. Clinical scenarios that were mapped to the students’ curriculum provided relevance to the learning experience.   The CBL format allowed the librarian to support students individually and increased engagement compared to lecture-based learning. Challenges included assessing the students’ prior EBM knowledge and the time commitment for a solo librarian. However, group assignments and a grading rubric helped to minimize the challenge.   Conclusion: The initial pilot testing of this instructional design format and rubric has shown promise in reaching the objectives of providing a relevant and active learning platform with quantifiable results. A future randomized controlled trial is planned to provide quantifiable evidence supporting CBL labs for EBM instruction when compared to lecture-based learning

Author Biography

Laura Lipke

Prior to my career in the medical and health sciences librarian profession, I worked as an Occupational Therapist specializing in neurological, orthopedic and work related rehabilitation. In my role as the medical liaison librarian to the college of osteopathic medicine at ATSU, I provide integrated EBM instrution sessions to the COM and played an integral role in numerous evidence synthesis reviews with students and faculty from across the university. In my newly obtained role as the Health Science librarian to the Decker College of Nursing, Allied Health and Pharmacy I plan to expand upon my previous librarian experiences and fully integrate my knowlege as an allied health professional. 


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How to Cite

Lipke, L. (2024). Case-based EBM instruction for Osteopathic Medical Students: A Case Report. Hypothesis: Research Journal for Health Information Professionals, 36(1).



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