Physician information-seeking in action

For all of my years in the field, we medical librarians have been researching our customers’ information-seeking behaviors.  We provide wonderful databases as information resources, and they’re even available now on the clinical units, but how frequently does the physician turn to them when a clinical question arises?

So watching a real-life example was interesting when I accompanied a relative to a hospital emergency room a while back;  she asked the doctor a question, and he left the room to get an answer.  Admittedly, it was 11 pm, so calling the hospital librarian was not an option; but I’m certain that this modern hospital had some point-of-care product available in the ER. However, I could hear the physician in the hall outside the room posing the question to his colleagues; and when he came back with an answer, it was: “The consensus of ER docs is…”

Well, he could have tried Google.

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