Shop Talk


I typed gratitude in the search box of the MeSh database. PubMed returned the term gift giving and defined it as “the bestowing of tangible or intangible benefits, voluntarily and usually without expectation of anything in return.” It went on to say “…gift giving may be motivated by feelings of altruism or gratitude.”

This time last year, we were grateful for vaccines. Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca had just announced  their vaccines were 90% effective. As the holidays passed and the new year rolled in, we waited anxiously for FDA approval and our turn to get the jab. It was the gift that led to hot vax summer, at least until Delta rolled in. Now we’re staring down another Turkey Day that promises to be less restrictive than last year – another gift for those of us who have remained safe and sound over the past 2 years.

In honor of Thanksgiving, we have a little gift for you. The team at The Evidence Workshop created a crossword puzzle from concepts that appear frequently in Shop Talk. We hope you’ll get a moment to relax this weekend, watch some football, and enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie while you work on our puzzle. You'll find the answers below.

As always, you can find additional resources at the bottom of this article. Thanks for reading.


2. Number needed to treat, for short
3. Randomized controlled trial (abbr.)
6. Try one
8. Our best explanation for phenomena
9. Do PT over Zoom
10. Neither can see
11. Work together well

1. Not prospective
4. They get the sham
5. Modern in 3 words
7. I call it vacation; PubMed calls it ________.

Once you have solved our puzzle, check your solution here: Answer Key

Want to learn more?

  1. This link will take you to gift giving in the MeSH database in PubMed.
  2. Gratitude is an entry term, a term that when typed into PubMed maps to a MeSH term. Entry terms are like Google Translate for MeSH. When you type an entry term into PubMed, it asks, “What do we call this thing?” Then it automatically searches with an appropriate MeSH term. If you don’t want PubMed to do that, you can place your word or term in double quotes, e.g. “gratitude”. Now PubMed knows that you are looking for articles that contain the word gratitude. You’re saying, “Thanks, but no thanks. I know what I’m looking for. Please don’t map this word to a MeSH term.” 
  3. If you can’t remember how we learned that vaccines work (or you’re new to Shop Talk), check out last year’s Thanksgiving issue at 
  4. If you’re still tempted to do your article searches in Google, read about simple searches here:

Thanksgiving Edition

Nov. 24, 2021

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