Do Journal Clubs Work? The Effectiveness of Journal Clubs in a Clinical Pastoral Education Residency Program
Journal clubs are an established means of ongoing learning in medicine. Beginning with physicians in the nineteenth century, journal clubs have gradually become established in nursing and other allied health professions. However, their use in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is relatively new. We describe the creation of a journal club for CPE residents and discuss the lessons learned from this effort. Over two years, a journal club was conducted with two different cohorts of residents. Residents were surveyed regarding the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the journal club and their recommendations for improvement. A small group of six to eight residents appears to be most effective. Focusing on a specific topic is preferable to broad-based readings. Residents preferred greater discussion about the applicability of the research findings to their clinical activity. Finally, the pros and cons of residents selecting articles and use of the Rush Research Summary Worksheet are discussed.