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Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine


Literature Searching and Information Management

i. to demonstrate the ability to use a variety of search techniques using the PubMed database
ii. to create a MyNCBI account and set up an email alert
iii. to create an EndNote online account to store, manage, and share citations

Practice Exercise - PubMed Searching

Search PubMed to find citations to articles that will help you with the following scenarios. Use the spaces below for notes to yourself.
1. Write a review of complications related to anesthesia for laparoscopic surgery.
2. You want to find the current best practices for prevention of nausea and vomiting following laparoscopic surgery.
3. You are asked to prepare a short presentation summarizing the most recent evidence about evaluating a patient's pre-operative cardiac risk for non-cardiac surgery

Final Searching Exercise

Find at least THREE recent and relevant citations to articles that will help you with the scenario below. Move the citations to the PubMed Clipboard.

A patient at the hospital has aspirated during induction of anesthesia. You want to find information on the incidence, complications, current treatment recommendations, etc. related to aspiration in order to present this case at M&M conference.

Send your results to your EndNote Basic account. 


Searching Tips


Use MeSH to focus your results [mh]

  • Anesthetics[mh]
  • Anesthesia[mh]
  • Anesthesia and Analgesia[mh]
  • Anesthesiology[mh]

Use subheadings to focus your results [sh]

  • "Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting/prevention and control"[Mesh]
  • "Prevention and Control"[sh]

Search the Title or Abstract fields only

  • non-cardiac[ti] risk[ti]  
  • non-cardiac[tiab] risk[tiab]

Use Filters to narrow your results

  • Human
  • English Language
  • Date Ranges
  • Publication Type (Clinical Trial, Reviews, etc.)
  • Use Clinical Queries to quickly retrieve research-based citations

Use combinations of MeSH terms and keywords to get focused results (MeSH terms) and new (not-indexed), and non-Medline (never indexed) citations using keywords

  • ("preoperative care"[mh] OR "preoperative period"[mh] OR pre-operative) AND (anesthe* OR anaesthe*) 

Use articles in hand

  • view MeSH Terms to build new searches
  • look at Related Citations for known articles

Beyond PubMed

Web of Science

  • general science databases
  • find articles that cite a known article
  • find articles that are cited the most on a given topic


  • biomedical database with strong pharmacological indexing
  • PICO search query
  • more global database than PubMed

Other disciplinary databases are available

  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering

Google Scholar