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EB Medicine

Facts are stubborn things and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence – John Quincy Adams

EB Medicine

image by: Alex Proimos

Medical practice has always been informed by many things: textbooks, personal experience (good and bad), scientific research, patient expectations, teaching from senior doctors, colleagues opinions, old wives' tales... the list goes on.

Every clinical decision is based on a combination of these factors, acting to differing degrees upon the individual clinican. The trouble is, of course, that many of these sources of information are far from trustworthy. Many of the traditions within medicine, handed down through generations of doctors, are simply wrong, and many more miss the mark of the best practice. Personal experience can be helpful to clinicians, but it can also bias their judgements detrimentally. Our reading of the scientific literature, being necessarily limited by time, will tend to bias our knowledge.

Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is an approach to medical decision making that acknowledges our need to be informed by a comprehensive summary of the best scientific evidence, appraised systematically and expertly, without bias. Factors such as experience, compassion and equity still factor in the decision making process, but EBM allows a reasonable degree of certainty that the scientific basis for decisions is as sound as possible." Source: BestBETs.org

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