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SOURCE has developed an interactive EBS Workshop based on the Users' Guides series. The workshop consists of small group tutorials lead by surgeons and researchers with formal training in healthcare research methodology. The workshops have been designed as an interactive forum where learners have the opportunity to ask questions and work together as a group.

Upon completion of the workshop, participants will have an understanding of evidence based surgery and its importance in day-to-day practice. Participants will be taught how to: 1) define clinical problems and perform literature searches in order to identify the best evidence from surgical literature; 2) accurately interpret and evaluate this evidence; and 3) how to apply this research evidence to clinical situations.

SOURCE held its first EBS workshop at the 5th annual SOURCE Research Retreat in February 2001. The second EBS workshop was held at an international venue – as the opening plenary session for the 37th Congress of the International College of Surgeons (Orlando, FL, USA) in July 2001. The ICS Congress Continuing Education Committee gave our workshop proposal an expedited review and was excited to have EBS as the opening (plenary) session for the conference. This workshop was also successful. All of our participants gave our opening didactic session, small group sessions and tutors high praise in their written evaluations. SOURCE also held an EBS workshop for its members at the 6th annual SOURCE Research Retreat held in February 2003. Our EBS workshop was also accepted as a post-graduate course at the Canadian Surgery Forum on September 19, 2002. This conference is sponsored by the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS) and is attended by general surgeons from across Canada (community and rural surgeons as well as academic), providing national exposure for our workshop. SOURCE EBS tutors also tutored a half-day EBS workshop on the topic of economic analysis at the “Current Practices in Urology” Conference held February 7, 2004 in Quebec City. 

SOURCE also held a series of 9 EBS workshops over 2002-2004 as part of the Core Curriculum for the McMaster University Surgical Residents. We recently held EBS workshops for the faculty in the Department of Surgery at McMaster on the topics of economic analysis (November 29, 2006); randomized controlled trials in surgery (May 9, 2007); health-related quality of life (January 10, 2008); and on the topic of systematic reviews and meta-analyses (Feb 11, 2009).

Our Evidence-Based Surgery Workshops are designed to provide the participants with hands-on experience of the health research methodology, including defining a research question, literature searching and developing a clear, answerable clinical research question. During these small group, problem-solving, interactive sessions participants learn to critically appraise specific research study design surgical articles and learn whether or not you should apply their findings to your patients.

Precisely, the workshop topics are presented in a way that it mirrors the research process trajectory. Few examples of the topics reviewed during our past workshops include, but are not limited to:

  • Randomized Controlled Trials
  • Power and Sample Size
  • Systematic Review and Metaanalysis
  • Diagnosis
  • Health-Related Quality of Life
  • Case Series and Case Reports
  • Clinical Practice Guideline


Achilleas Thoma, MD, MSc, FRCS(C), FACS. (Plastic Surgeon)
Director, Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOURCE)
Head, Division of Plastic Surgery, McMaster University
Clinical Professor, Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA

Forough Farrokhyar, MPhil, PhD. (Clinical Epidemiologist)
Associate Clinical Professor and Research Mentor, Department of Surgery and Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA

Charles Goldsmith, PhD. (Biostatistician and Methodology Expert)
Maureen and Milan Ilich/Merck Chair in Statistics for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada; Professor of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA; Professor Emeritus, Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA

Luis Braga, MD, PhD, FRCS(C) (Pediatric Urologist)
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA

Michelle Ghert, MD, FRCSC(C) (Orthopaedic Surgeon)
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery;Associate Member, Department of Oncology; McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA

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