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EBRS Introduction

What is Evidence Based Reviews in Surgery? (EBRS)

Evidence Based Reviews in Surgery is joint program of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons.
EBRS was developed to teach critical appraisal skills to practicing surgeons and trainees in order that they may critically evaluate the literature and practice Evidence Based Surgery.  This requires  some knowledge of study designs, statistics, outcome assessment (such as quality of life), meta-analysis, decision analysis, and cost effectiveness analysis in order to evaluate articles on treatment effectiveness, causation and risk factors, prognosis, diagnostic tests and practice guidelines. These are some of the methodological topics covered in EBRS.  At the conclusion of the EBRS program, learners will possess the knowledge and skills to critically appraise the surgical literature.

Critical appraisal skills are taught in the context of evaluating articles, which are of clinical relevance to general and colorectal surgeons. Each academic year (beginning in October and continuing to May of the following year), 8 clinical articles from the general surgical literature are presented. As well 4 clinical articles pertent to the practice of colrectal surgery.The articles are also chosen because they highlight a methodological issue. Each package consists of a clinical and methodological article. Participants are asked to critically appraise the clinical article using the methodological article as a guide.  Methodological and clinical reviews by experts are provided to participants.
What are the benefits of EBRS?

There are several reasons to participate in EBRS:
  • Medical knowledge and technology are changing rapidly. Surgeons must be able to access and evaluate the current literature in order to evaluate these new techniques and thus, provide optimal care for their patients and use health care resources wisely.
  • Participation in EBRS is free to all members of CAGS. EBRS is a practical, straightforward way for busy surgeons to learn critical appraisal skills and increase their clinical knowledge on their own time but in an interactive way.
  • EBRS provides an opportunity for you to discuss common surgical problems with colleagues across Canada and the United States including experts in the field
  • EBRS has been shown to be an effective way of teaching critical appraisal skills to practicing general surgeons.
  •  Participants have provided positive feedback and found EBRS to be interesting, useful and fun!
  • EBRS allows access to approximately 10 on line journals including: Annals of Surgery, Canadian Journal of Surgery, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Journal of American College of Surgeons (JACS), New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of
    Clinical Oncology, Lancet and Surgery.
How can I participate in EBRS?

EBRS is available to all members of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons.

What is available on the EBRS Site?
  • User Guide - Gives step by step instructions on how to navigate through the EBRS site
  • Yearly Schedule - Monthly outline of the current year's schedule
  • Monthly Articles - Articles available for the current year's on-line discussion which runs from October -May
  • Current Reviews - Critiques completed by methodological and clinical experts for the October-May packages
  • Journals - Subscriptions available to EBRS participants: Annals of Surgery, Canadian Journal of Surgery, Canadian Medical Association Journal, DCR, JAMA, JACS, JCO, Journal of Trauma, JNCI Cancer Spectrum, Lancet, NEJM and Surgery.  These may be used to access the articles for discussion in EBRS as well to access other articles, which are on-line
  • Archives - Previous packages from the year 2000 to present and an Index section with links to articles related to methodological and clinical topics
  • Evaluation - Monthly on-line evaluation to be completed by participants to obtain RCPSC MOC credits.
  • Posttest - Five multiple choice on-line questions to completed by participants to obtain RCPSC MOC credit.
If you require more information:
Ms. Marg McKenzie RN CCRP
Administrative Coordinator-EBRS
Digestive Disease Clinical Research Centre
Mount Sinai Hospital
Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Centre
60 Murray St. L3-010
PO Box. 23
Toronto, ON M5T 3L9
416-586-4800 x8348
(fax) 416-586-5932

The Canadian Association of General Surgeons approves EBRS as an accredited group learing activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. CAGS designated this activity as a Maintenance of Certification Category 1 Credits for a maximum of 6 credits. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


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