Sir James Paget, reflecting on his experiences at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London during 1835 - 1854, noted: ‘Some of the self-select of the pupils, making themselves into a kind of club, had a small room over a baker’s shop near the Hospital’s gate where we could sit and read the journals’.
Sir William Osler started his journal club at McGill University, Montreal, more than 100 years ago in 1875.
Journal clubs operate in all health science faculties in South Africa. They provide a unique opportunity not only to highlight the latest research but also to teach the principles
and practice of evidence-based medicine. Critical appraisal of the literature requires the reader to be familiar with the rules
of validity as well as the interpretation of research results. The three historical goals of a journal club should be to ‘keep up’
with the literature, to improve clinical practice, and to promote critical reading skills.