Journal Club Guidelines

Journal club guidelines

Journal Club is a mandatory event for all students in the MD/PhD program. Students will be registered for CONJ 606MD: Journal Club year round and will receive credit for this course. Each student will be assigned a week in which to present 1-2 times each year throughout the entirety of their program and will be notified of this assignment approximately a half term in advance. Students in their MD clinical years are not required to present. Students ready to defend may use their journal club presentation as a time to run through their dissertation. First year students will generally be assigned a week to present in the winter or spring of their first year. The program also takes protected Step1 study time into account for student participation and scheduling.

Students should plan to present 50-55 minutes of the journal club hour, leaving some time for questions and discussion. It is the student's responsibility to contact the program coordinator and arrange a replacement if they are unable to present during their assigned week. 

View upcoming and past journal clubs

The article

Choose a well-written published article that interests you. Choose an article that represents an important advance in this field of research. High impact journals are a great place to start, but do not guarantee the importance of an article. Before finalizing your article, discuss your selection with your peer mentor or other MD/PhD students who have previously presented. You can also discuss your chosen article with the MD/PhD program director.

The MD/PhD program coordinator will send a reminder and request for article information approximately two weeks in advance.


As journal club attendees will have a wide range of experience and expertise, the presenter should provide a background to their chosen article at the beginning of their presentation. A third to one half of your presentation time can be spent on the background. Please remember that the MD/PhD journal club is open to the public and guests are a frequent occurrence.

The background should give the article context within its field and familiarize the audience with the relevance of the research being presented within the article. Knowledge of basic scientific techniques within the audience should be assumed, however any specialized scientific or research techniques should be explained. Summarize and discuss any previous studies that are heavily relied on in the introduction of the article. 

Article review

Review important findings and conclusions drawn within the article. Covering every figure within the article is not required, particularly articles with extensive online supplements. Consider the quality of the data and whether or not it supports the authors' conclusions. Be prepared to discuss any questions that the article may raise and the future directions of research. 


  • Pick an article with good data and innovative research
  • Provide a background for the research
  • Explain any non-standard techniques
  • Present important findings
  • Discuss authors' conclusions and whether the data supports it
  • Put conclusions in context of future research

Faculty presenters

Faculty members are asked to present approximately once a month. The program reaches out to a range of faculty in discipline and field to expose students to exciting research at OHSU and for professional development. Career and professional development sessions led by faculty are presented once a term. The program coordinator will reach out to prospective faculty presenters approximately 1-3 months in advance. If interested in being a faculty presenter, please contact the program to express your interest and check availability.

Faculty presentations should be directed towards current MD/PhD students, some of whom may still be looking for labs to join in 6 months to 2 years. Please note that our journal club is open to the public and guests are a frequent occurrence. Presentations should reflect exciting research in the faculty member's lab, unless a career development session is requested by the program. Career and professional development sessions should be geared toward the physician-scientist trainee.

With few exceptions, journal club is held Wednesdays from 12-1pm in Mackenzie Hall, Room 3198. The program will be in touch 2-3 weeks in advance of your journal club presentation for information.

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