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Kimberly S.C. Vogt
Assistant Professor of Biology; Chair
Department of Biology
Marian University
Analyzing Clinical Literature: Making Informed Decisions

Reading and understanding scientific literature can be a daunting task for students in introductory science courses. This decision/dilemma case study helps ease them into the process by using a short scientific article with a simple experimental design that compares two types of ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery, autograft and allograft. The case tells the story of Todd, a martial artist who recently tore his ACL in competition. With the help of the article, Todd discusses the potential surgical options provided by his doctor with his friend, Sam, a medical student. The case has the added value of demonstrating how one can use scientific literature to make informed healthcare decisions based on clinical evidence. Please note that the required article (Kane et al., Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 24(11): 3627–33) is not provided with this case; prior to assigning this material, instructors should confirm that students can access the article, since access may vary by institution.