Journal Club Resident Spotlight: Elizabeth Scott

JBJS is pleased to highlight the orthopaedic residents who help implement the Robert Bucholz Resident Journal Club Grants at their institutions. The purpose of this program is to promote career-long skills in evaluating the orthopaedic literature as it relates to practice decision making among orthopaedic residents. Click here for more information about the grant program.


Name: Elizabeth Scott, MD

Affiliation: University of Iowa

What was the topic of the most “dynamic” journal club meeting you have had so far this year?

We were fortunate to host this year’s Arthur Steindler Award recipient, Dr. Margaret McQueen at our journal club when she visited our department earlier this year. We had a lively discussion regarding the diagnosis of compartment syndrome, and the use of continuous compartment pressure monitoring. We discussed the pros and cons of our current practices and how they could be improved. Having the original author present was extraordinarily valuable!

McQueen MM, Duckworth AD, Aitken SA, Court-Brown CM. The estimated sensitivity and specificity of compartment pressure monitoring for acute compartment syndrome. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013;95(8):673–677. doi:10.2106/JBJS.K.01731

Based on your journal club experiences, what are the top 3 characteristics of an engaging, enlightening journal club presentation?

There are a few characteristics of a good journal club. The first is the most obvious – attendees actually have to read the articles in advance. Limit the number of articles you choose, and send them out well in advance so everyone has time to prepare. The second is a clear structure – we allot a certain amount of time to each article and guide junior residents on how to present an article succinctly. Lastly, you must have faculty commitment. Letting faculty approve or suggest articles, as well as the meeting venue, can help.

What advice about running a top-notch journal club program do you have for residents who will manage a Robert Bucholz Resident Journal Club Grant next year?

Come up with a system for how things are done, and stick to it! Everyone (staff, residents, students) should know exactly what to expect and feel prepared. Avoid pressured “pimp sessions” and focus on group learning and discussion. Journal club should be something residents and staff look forward to.

Aside from orthopaedic content (journals and otherwise), what have you been reading lately?

I’m a fan of audiobooks – easy to listen to in the car or walking home – and particularly nonfiction. If you’re looking for some motivation, check out “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins, a Navy Seal and elite ultramarathoner. I’m currently listening to Greg McKeown’s “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” which tackles the idea of essentialism.

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