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Book and Media Reviews
March 18, 2009

Evidence-Based Dermatology

JAMA. 2009;301(11):1175-1181. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.64

This hefty tome, now in its second edition, starts with 14 chapters on the basis and meaning of evidence-based medicine and dermatology. These chapters have titles such as “The Field and Its Boundaries,” “The Rationale for Evidence-based Dermatology,” “The Cochrane Skin Group,” “Critical Appraisal of Pharmacoeconomic Studies,” and, most significantly, “How to Critically Appraise a Randomized Controlled Trial.” The chapters are clear and well written, with informative tables and line drawings printed in color. The text includes many pearls and useful data. References are pertinent and up to date. Unfortunately, the writing does have a whiff of defensiveness. As an example, the preface by Williams starts by saying that “Evidence-based dermatology is no longer a dirty word in dermatology.” A more serene approach might have been more desirable.