Hospital Librarians: Training the Next Generation of Doctors

  • Heather J Martin Providence St. Joseph Health
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Hospital librarians address a wide array of information needs. They help nurses figure out how to take care of patients, help physicians with difficult cases, help families get reliable health information, and sometimes the information they provide even helps save a life. They also play an important role in training the next generation of doctors. At one hospital in Oregon, Providence St. Joseph Health System Library Services has integrated traditional library instruction directly into the curriculum of the Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) System Library Services has a staff of 16 librarians and library paraprofessionals dedicated to meeting the information needs of a diverse group of patrons: the employees and medical staff of the PSJH healthcare system. The library staff supports patient care, scientific research, business, and continuing education needs of employees and medical staff, but is also a key part of training the future healthcare workforce as well. The library provides resources and services to support employees who are obtaining academic degrees to advance their career in healthcare, as well as education support and training for the School of Health Professions of the affiliated University of Providence, and the many graduate medical education programs located in hospitals across the health system. As the librarians located at medical schools play a key role in the education of our future doctors, so too do hospital librarians as they work with new doctors during their time in medical residency.


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Author Biography

Heather J Martin, Providence St. Joseph Health

Heather J. Martin, MISt, AHIP, serves as the director of system library services for Providence St. Joseph Health. Based out of Portland, OR, Heather directs the staff of 12 physical libraries, which serve 50 hospitals, affiliated clinics, and medical groups across the western United States. She led the integration of the library services and resources across Providence St. Joseph Health and the successful move to an entirely electronic centralized collection. She is passionate about keeping medical libraries vital and responsive to patron needs and navigating the ongoing seas of change in both healthcare and libraries.

How to Cite
Martin, H. J. (2018). Hospital Librarians: Training the Next Generation of Doctors. OLA Quarterly, 24(1), 35-39.