An introduction to medical reference

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Although an introduction for library technicians, SLAIS students may find this presentation a good overview.

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An introduction to medical reference

  1. 1. An Introduction to Medical Reference for Library Technicians Instructor librarian: Dean Giustini Summer 2006
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is medical reference? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Major user groups in medicine - who & where? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The “Reference interview” in medicine </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Sources of information </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the key information sources in medicine? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dictionaries, diseases, therapies, drug books </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dorland’s, PubMed, MEDLINEplus, StatsCan </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. General reference service <ul><li>What does Bill Katz say? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“… reference work is viewed in terms of questions and answers. A patron has a question and expects the library to provide an answer, or at least where it can be found .” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>William A. Katz. Introduction to reference work, Vol. 1: Basic information sources. 3rd ed. New York N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Press, 1978. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What is medical reference? <ul><li>... may be broadly defined as... “ any assistance given by the library staff to users seeking health or medical information…from a simple catalog search to extended searches...” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nancy Calabretta. General reference services. In: Reference and information services in health sciences libraries. Metuchen, N.J.: MLA; Scarecrow Press, 1994. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. What is medical reference? <ul><li>And: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [medical reference] .. may be defined as activities that provide information to accomplish the goals of the organization. These include literature and database searches, ready reference, Internet training, document delivery and outreach services .” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ruth Holst. MLA Guide to Managing Health Libraries. New York: Neal Schuman, 2000 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Major users in medical libraries <ul><li>Who do library staff serve in medical libraries? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physicians – medical students, residents, fellows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nurses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pharmacists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therapists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allied health personnel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members of the public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health consumers! </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Types of health organizations <ul><li>Where is health reference provided? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical libraries in universities and colleges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community and large hospitals like VGH </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pharmaceutical companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget : Public libraries get lots of questions in patient and consumer health! </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Value of medical reference <ul><li>Classic 1992 Rochester Hospital Study found: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80% of physicians said they definitely or probably would have handled ... a clinical situation differently as a result of information provided by the library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marshall JG. The impact of the hospital library on clinical decision making: the Rochester study. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 1992; 80(2):270-309. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Reference Interview <ul><li>Reference interview similar in medicine </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What makes a good reference interview? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What’s important in health? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Like a good doctor, health information is vital. - current, accurate information is a must! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidentiality must be respected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health professionals are very busy and need information assistance </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Reference interview <ul><li>What’s different in medical reference? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical terminology is sometimes complex, but terms can be learned using a good dictionary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We provide different viewpoints and sometimes contradictory evidence - but we don’t interpret! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing service to consumers & patients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Library staff does not provide advice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes patients are upset, and need consoling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Patients and consumers can be demanding </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Five “W”s of medical reference: <ul><li>Who? are your users eg. doctors, nurses, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>What? Sources of health information will you use </li></ul><ul><li>Where? Do your users work eg. in hospitals? </li></ul><ul><li>When or why? do they need the information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eg. do they need a literature review; are they helping a patient, doing a study? writing a grant? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Sources of information: <ul><ul><li>Since the rise of the Internet in the 1990s, medical reference has changed rapidly. Many sources have gone online …. but we still need print versions! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the major formats? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Print, electronic, etc </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the key sources of information? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Start Here: Medical Reference Sources </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://toby.library.ubc.ca/subjects/subjpage2.cfm?id=714 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Discussion <ul><ul><li>Let’s try a couple of quick reference questions! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I need a definition for anemia. Can you help? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is the address of Dr. Forsyth living in Calgary? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What’s “Muenchausen’s syndrome by proxy”? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is there any basic information on a drug called Indural? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>See the Top Five (5) Medical Reference Skills for Beginners </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. So many sources…so little time! <ul><ul><li>What are the challenges of so much information? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information overload </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Change is constant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conflicting “evidence” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Burnout! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical publishing has a lot of duplication, so collection development can be a challenge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Internet poses many challenges for libraries, but it always make medical reference interesting </li></ul></ul>

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