Teaching and learning of medical biochemistry according to clinical realities: A case study.

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Biochemistry and molecular biology education : a bimonthly publication of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ISSN: 1539-3429, Vol: 44, Issue: 1, Page: 95-8

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Jabaut, Joshua M; Dudum, Ramzi; Margulies, Samantha L; Mehta, Akshita; Han, Zhiyong
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology
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To foster medical students to become physicians who will be lifelong independent learners and critical thinkers with healthy skepticism and provide high-quality patient care guided by the best evidence, teaching of evidence-based medicine (EBM) has become an important component of medical education. Currently, the teaching and learning of biochemistry in medical schools incorporates its medical relevance and applications. However, to our knowledge there have been no reports on integrating EBM with teaching and learning medical biochemistry. Here, we present a case study to illustrate the significance of this approach. This case study was based on a biochemistry/nutrition question in a popular board review book about whether a homeless alcoholic man is at risk of developing a deficiency of vitamin E. The possible answers and explanation provided in the book raised a question about the correct answer, which provided us with an opportunity to adapt the philosophy and certain basic EBM principles to find evidence for the clinical applicability of a commonly taught biochemistry topic. The outcome of this case study not only taught us how to conduct an EBM exercise to answer a specific patient question, but also provided us with an opportunity for in-depth teaching and learning of the medical relevance of a specific biochemistry topic based on the best clinical evidence obtained from a systematic research of medical literature.