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Organising an English journal club in the developing world.

Authors: Tucker J, Gao X, Chen Q, Yin Y, Chen X.

Publisher: Postgrad Med J 2004. 80:436-7

Journal Clubs are one of the most widely spread methods for reviewing the medical literature and teaching Evidence Based Medicine.

In this commentary, Drs. Tucker, Gao, Chen, Yin and Chen, of the National Center for STD Control in Nanjing, China, state that “325 million people speak English as their mother tongue, and at least twice as many speak English as a second or third language… While English Journal clubs are routinely a part of postgraduate medicine culture in developed countries, they are rare in developing World hospitals and medical training centres.”

The authors propose that “regular English Journal clubs:

  • Nurture a deeper sense of International ethical principles
  • Enhance communications skills essential for multicenter studies and other cooperation
  • Increase language proficiency, ethical understanding, and international exchanges in developing areas”

They also suggest a stepwise process for starting and developing an English language journal club in programs where English is the second language.

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