ASHP Re-certification Ambassador - New Practitioner: Literature Study 2015

By David Martin posted 07-27-2015 20:01


Hi Everyone!  I can't believe that July is coming to an end!!  This was my "month off" between finishing residency and beginning my first real job next month, so I tried to use it to the fullest. However, I did find some time to complete quite a few ASHP re-certification courses.  The Literature Study Modules 1A-1D offer primary literature articles on various topics and then an assessment to test your learning.  I liked that I was able to move at my own pace through the articles (and read them by the pool on sunny days), and it forced me to read primary literature that I may not have otherwise.  The CE activities included the following topics:

  • Module 1A: Cardiology and Statistics (nested case-control studies)
  • Module 1B: Cardiology and Statistics (meta-analysis)
  • Module 1C: Pulmonary (VTE and Pneumonia)
  • Module 1D: Pulmonary (COPD and Asthma)

Modules 1A and 1B  offered new articles on several cardiology topics while at the same time reviewing nested case-control studies and meta analyses.  I liked being able to read about a certain study design and then read about a study that actually used this design.  I think this helps to build a deeper understanding of the methods used and how you should be interpreting those types of studies.

Module 1C included the 2014 ESC guidelines on the diagnosis and management of acute pulmonary embolism as well as articles describing U.S. hospitalization rates for pneumonia after 10 years of using the pneumococcal vaccine and a review on the clinical treatment of community-acquired pneumonia.  I don't really think having the guidelines be one of the articles was really that helpful because no matter how motivated you may be, it is very hard to sit down and read 80 pages of guidelines from front to back.  It really involved more skimming for the correct answers in the assessment question, so I am not sure how much I was really able to take away from that activity.  The articles on pneumonia were decent but I don't think had much of an impact on my clinical practice (maybe because I just finished an infectious diseases residency and so was more comfortable with this topic).

Module 1D included two articles on the use of magnesium in asthma exacerbations (one in adults and one in children), one article that described the impact prophylactic azithromycin has on cough-specific outcomes in COPD patients, and one article describing the withdrawal of inhaled glucocorticoids in patients with COPD.  All of these articles presented new ideas, and I liked that the two magnesium articles had conflicting data.  This just goes to show that you need to read multiple resources in order to develop a complete conclusion.

Overall the literature study modules allowed me to explore primary literature that I may not otherwise have read.  One point of improvement is that I would have liked to have been able to see the questions that I answered incorrectly and what the correct answer was.  I enjoyed being able to move at my own pace and complete these modules over the course of the month. Hopefully I will be able to use and apply what I have learned as I move towards starting my own career!

 - David

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