Document Type


Original Presentation Date



Poster presented at Annual Meeting, Medical Library Association, 2015.

Date of Submission

July 2015


Objectives: To describe the extent to which health sciences librarians are embedded into a program that gives medical students focused experiences in underserved international, rural, or inner city primary care settings.

Methods: Since 2009, librarians at a large urban research university have worked with a longitudinal program that gives medical students focused education and experience in underserved international, rural, or inner city primary care settings. Initially, the library offered a meeting space for the program and librarians led a class on library resources prior to students beginning work on a required capstone projects. Librarians cultivated relationships with faculty and students through interactions in classes and in individual consultations. As the program matured and its needs changed, librarians offered services and expertise to match the growth of the curriculum.

Results: Librarians currently co-teach two capstone training sessions for third year medical students, which has progressed from a basic orientation on library resources and searching to in-depth instructions on literature reviews and leading small group discussions on student capstone projects. As a result of these sessions, librarians hold regular consultations with students at various stages of the projects to train them in library resources and assist them in conducting literature reviews. A librarian also met with faculty to revise, and subsequently co-teach, a journal club for first and second year students focusing on issues health care in underserved populations and critical appraisal of research literature. More recently, a librarian was asked to serve as part of an interdisciplinary panel that reviews student capstone project proposals.

Conclusions: Over the past several years, librarians have taken on increasingly complex roles in a small specialized program within a school of medicine. Through regular contact with faculty and students and a willingness to participate at any level of the program, librarians have moved well past teaching one-shot sessions to being fully embedded in the program.


Copyright © 2015 The Authors

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VCU Libraries Faculty and Staff Presentations