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Books, Journals, New Media
November 8, 2000

Evidence-Based Medicine: Evidence-Based Medicine: How to Practice and Teach EBM

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 2000;284(18):2382-2383. doi:10.1001/jama.284.18.2382-JBK1108-3-1

The messages of evidence-based medicine (EBM) reached many of us, some for the first time, with the aid of the first (1997) edition of this book. We learned the importance of searching for credible scientific evidence, evaluating it in a critical manner, and applying it to clinical problems at hand. Other books followed suit with variations on this theme. The second edition carries on the basic teachings of EBM with additions and refinements.

Our daily clinical orbit reveals gaps in knowledge and produces more questions than answers. This situation should lead to a pursuit of available evidence using not only traditional repositories such as MEDLINE but also second-tier data sources such as the Cochrane library and secondary journals. Application of this evidence to individual patients, or toward policy making, is the final task within the scope of the practitioner or bureaucrat. This ideal sequence, the core of EBM's doctrine, gained slow acceptance over the last decade. Cultivating the disciplines of asking questions and seeking evidence is time intensive; it retards the flow of importunate scheduling and regulatory and reimbursement demands. This book teaches you how to ask, seek, and evaluate evidence in a systematic manner. The authors' irrepressible dedication to teaching comes through in this edition also. Earlier lessons on gold standards and likelihood ratios for tests, randomization, numbers needed to treat or harm, and the value of confidence intervals receive due reinforcement.