Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

115th Annual Meeting of American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

Conference Location

Grapevine, TX


Objectives: To share strategies used to deliver a successful lecture on PubMed in 18 minutes. Methods: PubMed has long been a module in the Pharmacy Practice Laboratory series at the author’s institution, utilizing lecture, discussion and laboratory formats. Lectures and discussions are carried out in a large traditional classroom, which is not conducive to learning hands-on subjects like PubMed. In Fall 2013, the author shortened the hour-long lecture and discussion to an 18-minute session, covering only Search Details and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). A compelling story was told at the beginning of the lecture to engage students, and a demonstration of filing articles with vertical file folders was performed to illustrate the concept of MeSH and its use in indexing articles. Outcomes: In students’ post-lab reflections on what they had learned about PubMed, MeSH was the number one recurring theme. When tested individually on their PubMed skills at the end of the semester, 95% percent of the students successfully executed PubMed searches on assigned topics by using MeSH and/or Search Details. Implications: Many PubMed instructors face the dilemma of too little time and too much to cover. It is tempting to try to teach everything one knows about a subject in a single class session. By re-thinking who the students really are and what is really important to them, the author shortened the lecture time and kept students focused on basics and essentials using techniques including story-telling and tangible demonstrations.


pharmacy education, PubMed, librarian, TED, instruction design, drug information


Abstract published as: How to Turn Two Hour-long PubMed Lectures Into One “TED” Talk in the Classroom. Xiaomei Gu. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education: Volume 78, Issue 6, Article 129 (Poster Presentation, 115th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy)


Copyright © 2014, Xiaomei Gu.