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PBC Library

The NAU library website for the Phoenix Biomedical Campus Library

PA Resources

Levels of Evidence Pyramid | Click Here



Secondary Pre-appraised Research

Regularly updated guidelines that integrate evidence-based information about specific clinical problems.

Resource types: Practice guidelines, clinical reviews, and position statements


Secondary Pre-appraised Research

Summarized evidence from high-quality studies surrounding a specific research question.

Study types: Meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and RCTs, some with quality ratings based on study methodology.


Primary Original Research

Original research conducted to answer specific questions.

Study types: Case series, case reports, case control, cohort, RCTs, qualitative studies, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and more.

Find background information - Best bets

Other NAU resources

Search for additional condition-specific information in the Books and eBooks tabs above. 

Other online resources


  • Access on or off campus!
  • Best used to cite background information on PA topics.
  • Hover over a title to read its contents.
  • The ebooks listed below are just a sample of NAU Libraries' ebook collection. Search below for additional titles.
  • Read additional PA ebooks through U of A Libraries (on-campus access only).

eBook databases for physician assistants

Physical books

  • Best used to cite background information on PA topics.  
  • Hover over a title to read its contents.
  • Check books out for 4 weeks with your PBC badge at the front desk.
  • The PA books below are just a sample of all of the PA books shelved in PBC Library.


Find peer-reviewed journal articles in the NAU health science databases:

Streaming video

Image collections

​Anatomical Models

PBC Library hosts an extensive collection of advanced, anatomical models available for student and faculty use. If you'd like to checkout one of the models, please keep in mind:

  • Models are only available during staffed hours for in-library use only
  • Please inform front-desk staff if you'd like to remove a model from the shelf
    • Staff can also help you access the models stored off-shelf
  • All models must be checked out at the front desk before use
  • The complete PBC Library Anatomical Models Policy can be found here

NOTE: For a complete list of all models, please see the PBC Library Anatomical Models List.

Acland's Video Atlas Logo

Point-of-Care tools

Point-of-care tools offer synthesized information evaluated by experts that often includes rating scales or graded recommendations. Most of this information is secondary, and has been pre-appraised to allow for quick, on-the-spot decision making.

Benefits of point-of-care tools include:

  • more efficient search structure than in large, "academic" databases
  • results in the form of systematic reviews, meta-analyses, guidelines, and critically appraised topics
  • immediate access to full text (in most cases)

Resource Types: Systems, Synopses, Syntheses, Studies

From a point-of-care perspective, we can place evidence into four categories:

Resource Types

Textbook-like resources that summarize evidence, often intended to aid clinical decision making.

Resource examples

Databases: BMJ Best Practice | Cochrane Answers | DSM V TRUpToDate


Summaries of expertly assessed studies and systematic reviews with advice for application.

Resource examples

Databases: ACP Journal Club | Rehabilitation Reference Center TRIP (open access)


Systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines that critically assess the state of the research.

Resource examples

Databases: Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews | PubMed Clinical Queries (Open Access)


Individual clinical studies (ie. randomized controlled trials) in peer-reviewed publications.

Resource examples

Databases: PubMed (MEDLINE, PMC) | CINAHL | PsycINFO | SocINDEX

When searching for best evidence in clinical decision making, start at the the top of the hierarchy with systems and work your way down to synopsessyntheses, and studies. Opt for databases like UpToDate, which present information quickly, clearly, and efficiently. 

Remember that point-of-care tools are meant to save time in a fast-paced clinical environment. Even so, it is important to maintain proficiency in larger databases such as MEDLINE, in order to locate new research studies as they are published.

Mobile Applications can also be very helpful at the point-of-care, however, use caution since nearly anyone can develop an app! You must carefully evaluate the information & source. STAT!Ref is a library resource with a mobile app that is recommended to NAU students, as it provides access to ACP Smart Medicine, 5 Minute Clinical Consult, Red Book, and more.

Clinical Practice Guidelines - Websites

Free point-of-care tools

Calculators and reference tools (NAU resources)

Patient Education

Mobile apps


Mobile apps through NAU Library

The following resources are licensed by NAU for student and faculty use:

Language translation apps

These apps are designed to assist in clinical delivery of care when working with patients who speak a language different to the provider:

Test prep for certification

Exam Master Online is a free resource available to NAU students, and residents affiliated with NAU's Physician's Assistant program. 

Resources include:

  • PANCE/PANRE Certification Review Question Bank
  • USMLE Step 1,2, and 3 Question Banks
  • Medical Subjects Review Question Bank - Basic and Clinical Sciences
  • Family Medicine ABFM Review Question Bank
  • Pediatrics ABP Review Question Bank
  • Customizable exams for personal, targeted remediation
  • Detailed explanations included with each question
  • Includes Test, Review, Study, and Learning Modes
  • Personalized Score Reporting helps identify strengths and weaknesses
  • High-quality question banks provide you a realistic testing experience
  • Flash cards to enhance study and review

Click here for more information

Click here to download the Exam Master Online User Guide.

First Time Registration Instructions:

  • Access Exam Master.
  • To register for the first time - click "Not Registered Yet?"
  • Complete the registration information
  • Click 'Save'
  • You will receive a system generated activation email at your registered email address - Click on the link provided to activate your account.
  • You will be automatically logged into Exam Master OnLine.

Getting Started:

  • From the main menu - Click 'Create Exams'
  • Click 'Physician Assistant' and choose the outline that you would like to access
  • Click on the carrots provided to expand a particular topical area
  • Select at least one topic, subject or category.  You may choose one or multiple areas from which you would like to pull questions.
  • Add "Number of questions" (required field)
  • Use Question Search field (optional)
  • Add a Name for the exam (optional)
  • Click 'Create Exam'
  • Begin the exam in either Test or Study mode
  • If you would like to access the exam later - it will be available in the 'My Exams' module
  • Score reports are available in 'My Stats'

Profile information (including email address, password & time zone) can be edited at any time - click on your name in the top left hand corner.  Help files are available in system (bottom right hand corner of every screen).

If you'd like a printable infographic with these instructions, click here.

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