Home > Course Home > Information Mastery (revised)

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  • Background
  • Systematic review
  • Systematic review
  • Free / no TUSK access
  • Immunizations
  • Travel
  • Screening  / preventive care
  • Calculators
  • Herbs and supplement
  • Medications
  • Esoterica / rare conditions / specific paper
  • UpToDate
  • Cochrane (gold standard)
  • Dynamed
  • TRIP database
  • CDC vaccine schedule app
  • CDC.gov
  • EEPlus
  • Natural Medicine
  • Epocrates (no LoE/NNT) Micromedex/LexiComp
  • PubMed


+ Well-organized, level of evidence transparent, frequently updated
-  Not suited for broader topics (e.g. diabetes) or esoteric topics
Foreground Questions:

What is the best diagnostic test for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Which treats warts better, cryotherapy or salicylic acid?
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews via Tufts Library
+ Gold standard systematic reviews
-  May get too many search results; not necessarily patient-oriented

TRIP Database 
+ Categorizes information (e.g., systematic reviews, guidelines), especially useful when no access to Tufts Library, can enter PICO format question
-  Less organized



+ Concise, clear, practical articles on common topics; transparent SORT ratings; algorithm trees and patient handouts available
-  Not all topics covered; not updated frequently

Background Questions:
What is the appropriate initial workup for dizziness?
How is a shoulder injection performed?

+Comprehensive collection of articles by common topic; good for both background and foreground questions
- May not be updated to the most current year
* How should iron deficiency anemia be evaluated and managed?
* Which physical examination tests are best for diagnosing rotator cuff disease in patients with shoulder pain?

+ For screening or preventive medicine questions; transparent; age/gender based calculator
-  Limited number of topics; focuses only on preventive topics

At what age should screening pap smears stop?
Who should take a preventive dose of daily aspirin?
Searchable comprehensive drug database free from drug company bias. Contains information on pediatric, geriatric, and pregnancy/lactation dosing. Contains pill photos and patient education information. Entries are tagged with date of most recent update.
UpToDate via Tufts library (hospital campus only), paid subscription
+ Comprehensive topic reviews, organized background information
- Lengthy entries; expert opinion-based

What is the prevalence of hip dysplasia in infants?
What is CREST Syndrome?
Medline via Tufts library
+ Includes all published research; good for questions on rare topics or searches for a specific paper
-  Too many results per search; outlier studies could misguide
PubMed, Ovid, and GoogleScholar are similar resources


Additional Useful Resources
CDC.gov Travel information, vaccine information
Guidelines.gov Various guidelines from many groups


Free Useful Smartphone Apps
Epocrates Med dosage, side effects, interactions, pill pictures
SHOTS Vaccine schedules for all ages
AHRQ USPSTF recommendations/calculator


Author(s): Wayne Altman, M.D.
Created: Tuesday November 12, 2013
Modified: Thursday July 12, 2018

Copyright Information: Tufts University

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