Shiffman - School of Medicine Years I & II Timesaver (Guide)

Self-Directed Learning

"Self-directed learning: Includes medical students’ self-assessment of their learning needs; their independent identification, analysis, and synthesis of relevant information; and their appraisal of the credibility of information sources."

- The Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME)

The revolution of self directed learning (TED Talk, 9 Min)

Collecting & Managing Research Information

is a software program available free to faculty, staff and students of Wayne State University. You can use it to store and organize citation information as well as articles in PDF format, to cite while your write or create bibliographies in the style of your choice, and to share your EndNote library for collaboration and manuscript development

Click on this Download Endnote link to download EndNote.

How to get Full Text Articles

Steps to get a full text journal article via the 360 Link to Full Text link resolver:

  1. Click the link "360 Link to Full Text" on the upper right corner of each citation 
  2. If the online version of the article is available, you can directly view or download the article (PDF in most cases)  
  3. If the article is not available electronically, you can click the link that says “Still no full-text? Request item through interlibrary loan” This will initiate an order for the full text article to be delivered to you electronically. Follow the on‐screen instructions to send your request.  You will receive an email notification when the article is available for you to view or print.


Literature Search Tips and Techniques


  • Using PICO method to formulate a clinical answerable question (YouTube)
    ("P" stands for patient/problem, "I" for intervention, "C" for comparison, and "O" for outcome)
  • Using MeSH Database in PubMed (YouTube)
  • Select MeSH (Medical Subject Heading) terms that best represent your concepts.
  • Decide whether MeSH terms should include more specific terms
  • Select subheadings, if appropriate, to further define your concept
  • Combine concepts with Boolean operators, AND, OR, NOT
  • Consider text words or key words when a MeSH term does not exist for your concept
  • Refine your search by limiting to age, sex, human, etc.
  • Select research method terms to retrieve articles with clinical relevancy
  • Review search results
  • Examine MeSH terms of particularly relevant articles in your retrieval. Rerun search using these terms
  • Use the “Similar article” feature
  • Run search in other databases, if appropriate


Try these techniques:

  • Use OR with synonymous/related concepts
  • Include all languages (English abstracts are often available)
  • Remove all Filters such as Publication Types, Publication Date, etc.
  • Choose All subheadings
  • Use a broader term
  • Do not Restrict to Major MeSH Topic
  • Truncate text words (disease*)
  • Run search in alternate databases