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Physician Assistant (PA) Capstone Project: Home


This guide will tell you how your librarians (and the library resources your tuition pays for) can help you complete and submit your capstone project.

Consult Professor Radcliffe's Capstone Handbook

What we (the Medical Library) can do for you...
The Medical Library (3rd floor of the Green Library) can help you with every part of your paper, but especially the bolded sections listed below.  The following organization and quotes have been taken directly from Professor Radcliffe's handbook.
  1. Title page
  2. Structured abstract
  3. Table of contents
  4. Introduction
  5. Background - we can direct you to the "large variety" of resources you need, including some general reference sources like encyclopedias, textbooks, monographs, seminal articles and peer-reviewed articles so that you can describe the condition you are writing about to your readers, explain the history of medical knowledge about the condition, and set the stage for the aspect of the condition that you will be exploring with your literature review.
  6. Methodology – we can show you how to document and explain your search strategy including which search engines/ databases you used, your keywords, subject headings, sub-headings, and other controlled vocabulary.  You will also need to explain your inclusion/exclusion criteria and why you chose the type of literature (RCT, case report, literature review, book chapter, systematic review, meta-analysis, etc…) that you wound up using in your review.
  7. Review of the Literature
  8. Discussion
  9. Conclusion
When you first meet with us, we can also help you pick out a topic and revise it (which usually happens when you start seeing what is and is not out there in the literature).  Research is an iterative process.  Your final search strategy will definitely be different the than your first one.

Other Resources


Reference Tools

  • These are generally accepted information about the condition, problem, or intervention you are studying.
  • You can cite reference tools when you write about the background of your topic.
  • Examples include textbooks, monographs, and other reference materials about, for example drugs, conditions, therapeutic methods, and more.

Bibliographic Databases

  • Most new scientific research is published in article-form. When researchers design a study and perform an experiment, peer-reviews articles published by authoritative journals are often how they report their results.
  • In bibliographic databases like PubMed, Embase, and CINHAL, you can find literature reviews, case reports, peer-reviewed articles, and many other types of publications.
  • Different study designs will have different levels of evidence which you must consider when you decide which resources will inform your clinical decisions.

Point of Care Reference Tools

  • These are reference tools that are neatly and concisely organized quick-to-look-up topic reviews and guidelines when you’re at the bedside.
  • Examples include UpToDate, ClinicalKey, Dynamed, MicroMedex.

Citation Management Tools

  • These help you store your articles and their full-text in one place (either an online account or special bibliographic file type on your computer).
  • Next, they automatically format your in-text citations and bibliography/ reference list for you when you are writing your paper.
  • Products like thse include: RefWorks, EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero.


Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Medical Library
305 348-1466 (phone)
305 348-0631 (fax)
11200 SW 8th Street, GL 380
Miami, FL 33199