Document Type



Athletic training education has begun preparing students to enter clinical practice using evidence-based practice procedures. These procedures have been extensively studied and evaluated throughout various medical professions. Athletic training lends itself readily to the development of this skill set with the incorporation of clinical experience courses incorporated into curricula. The incorporation of evidence-based medicine skill development with clinical experience provides a foundation for successful skill acquisition. With the recent addition of evidence-based practice guidelines as a content area for athletic training education proficiency assessment, educators and clinical educators are burdened with fostering this multi-faceted skill in novice learners. Considering the importance of the multiple steps incorporated in sound evidence-based practice, novice learners lacking clinical experience must learn to foster this skill under careful direction. Educators must provide a clear progressive introduction that will allow students to develop these skills over time and foster long term practice standards. The appropriate introduction of evidence-based concepts encourages an appreciation for self-directed inquiry and establishes evidence-based practice as a standard of clinical practice. This challenges educators to develop a curriculum from a sound theoretical and practical basis. Similar methods of pedagogy can be applied to other areas of higher education as we attempt to foster the critical thinking and analytical skills required by are students upon graduation as they enter the workforce. We strive to cultivate students who have a clear understanding of critical thinking and the importance of research through a clear and well-planned process similar to the evidence-based practice procedures introduced in the medical education community.

Author Bio(s)

Originally from Baltimore, Megan Colas, Ph.D., assistant professor at the college, earned her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Salisbury University in Maryland. She then attended Virginia Tech, earning a master’s degree in health promotions and sports performance. Also at Virginia Tech, she completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction while serving as an assistant athletic trainer for the university’s women’s basketball team. Her current research interests are clinical instruction, evidence-based medicine, and therapeutic interventions.

Pradeep Vanguri, Ph.D., associate professor at the college, serves as clinical coordinator for the college's Athletic Training Education Program. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, and his Master of Science in Education from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Upon completing his graduate work, he served as assistant professor and assistant athletic trainer in the Athletic Training Education Program at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. He completed his Ph.D. at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he also served as graduate assistant in the undergraduate Athletic Training Education Program. His current research interests include faculty development, pedagogy, and clinical instruction.