Author: Eagan Peters BSc
I met Dr. Garland in my ﬁrst year of medical school where he was the regular preceptor for my Population Health tutorials. Since then, he has also been my tutorial leader for a series of sessions on critical evaluation of literature in diﬀerent ﬁelds of medicine. From him, I have learned about the importance of actively engaging with the methodology and design of medical research as opposed to simply glancing at the results and discussion. He also taught me about the fundamental weakness of our frequentist approach to research and the extension of that weakness to clinical practice. These ideas, among many others he taught us, have been crucial to my developing understanding of evidence-based best practices. However, not everyone gets the opportunity to spend every other week discussing these things with him. I sat down with Dr. Garland for an interview about critical literacy in medicine to introduce the topic to readers who might not otherwise get the same opportunity as I have. This interview examines the pitfalls of study design and statistical analysis, the importance of being able to critically evaluate literature as a future physician, and how to develop these skills over one’s career.
(This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity). References were cited retrospectively for context by EP after the sentence ending and condensed for clarity.
Keywords: evidence-based medicine, medical education, research methodology