Principle 3. Teach lifelong learning

3a. Courses and other learning experiences should be organized not just in content but towards teaching the student how to learn, and how to continue to update their knowledge and skills throughout their careers to reflect continued progress in the field.

In particular, the student should develop an understanding of how to acquire and organize information, learn to keep abreast of new knowledge regarding evidence-based practice, and learn how to incorporate this new knowledge into their clinical practice. This skill is essential given the accelerating pace of information creation and dissemination.

3b. Training should teach patient-centered approaches to framing questions, searching for, evaluating, and applying the evidence in real time using the evidence-based practice model, as elaborated by Sackett and proponents of EBM (Hoge, et al., 2003; Howard, Allen-Meares, & Ruffolo, 2007; Straus, et al., 2011).


3c. Students should be familiar with go-to websites, high quality journals, etc. that are trusted sources of information regarding EBP (Spring, 2007).

Crucial skills to be effective consumers of Web-based information include critical appraisal of conflicts of interest, an appraisal of the systematic review criteria and research designs utilized by the website to identify effective practices, as well as strategies for resolving disputes between competing claims about a tool or technique. The skills recommended in Principles 1b and 2d will be particularly useful for students when evaluating the quality of information provided by various websites and journals. In addition, supervisors and trainers should stay abreast of additional and new websites and journals that provide high-quality information and encourage their students to utilize them as part of ongoing and life-long learning.

3d. Students should have practice and support for applying critical appraisal skills to un-vetted sources of information, such as Google, Wikipedia, and social media sites.