Journal Club Presentation

Back in November, I was required to present a critical evaluation of a paper titled “The Effects of Inclination (Up and Down) of the Treadmill on the Electromyogram Activities of the Forelimb and Hindlimb Muscles at a Walk and Trot in Thoroughbred Horses” (Takahashi et al., 2014) along with a fellow student. On initial reading I found the paper hard to understand, but I was reassured to find out that my partner also felt the same. We also found that we struggled to find many positive aspects of the paper, which we were concerned about as we were not confident in critiquing published work.

Despite being relatively confident during class discussions, I find that I struggle with public speaking and I felt as though my anxiety may take over at times. However, I had done as much preparation as possible, so I knew there was nothing else I could do (other than make sure I took a breath – something I’m sure my fellow students will wonder if I actually did!)

Taking part in the journal club presentation helped me to realise just how important presentation skills are, especially in my role as a Veterinary Physiotherapist. Journal clubs are though to be integral to effective studies, as not only does it allow further reading on a subject, the critical appraisal necessary gives students the skills to evaluate journal papers that they will read and use in the future (Berman et al., 2019). The knowledge gained during journal clubs give students the confidence to evaluate and, if appropriate, apply research when practicing out in the field (Mezgebe, Chesson and Thurston, 2019).

As a Veterinary Physiotherapist it is vital to have good communication and presenting skills, and to be able to adapt depending on the audience. For the presentation we were to take part in, we were required to present to our peers. One thing I realised I need to improve on is the speed of which I talk when presenting. In practice I don’t feel like this is an issue, but I discovered that it certainly becomes a problem with public speaking. Luckily, the student I was presenting with is a seasoned speaker, and she noticed I was struggling on a couple of occasions when she kindly took over, despite feeling the nerves herself. However, this is something I will need to work on personally for the future. Despite this, I feel that the presentation was a success and it has given me confidence going forward.

After taking part in the journal club I feel that my critical evaluation skills have improved; I learnt that I should not just take information as read and to be more confident in questioning what I am reading, which has helped me immensely in the rest of my studies to become a Veterinary Physiotherapist.

References

Berman, D., Braig, Z., Simms, B., Anderson, T., Dougherty, K., Marcinkowski, K. and Seaman, R. (2019). Efficacy of Medical Student Surgery Journal Club. Journal of Surgical Education, 76(1), pp.83-88.

Mezgebe, M., Chesson, M. and Thurston, M. (2019). Pharmacy student perceptions regarding understanding of and confidence in literature evaluation following a student-led journal club. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. [In Press].

Takahashi, T., Matsui, A., Mukai, K., Ohmura, H., Hiraga, A., and Aida, H., 2014. The Effects of Inclination (Up and Down) of the Treadmill on the Electromyogram Activities of the Forelimb and Hindlimb Muscles at Walk and Trot in Thoroughbred Horses. Journal of Equine Science, 24(4), p.73-77.

Natalie Bell BSc EEBW- Equine Sports Therapist

© 2018

All professional photos by private permission of Sophie Callahan©. Not to be replicated.