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Evidence-Based Medicine

What is Evidence-Based Medicine?

Evidence-based medicine was first described by Dr. David M. Eddy in 1974, when he noted a lack of evidence in clinical practice. It gained popularity in 1992 from the Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group of the American Medical Association who noted:

"Evidence-based medicine de-emphasizes intuition, unsystematic clinical experience, and pathophysiologic rationale as sufficient grounds for clinical decision making and stresses the examination of evidence from clinical research.  Evidence-based medicine requires new skills of the physician, including efficient literature searching and the application of formal rules of evidence evaluating [of] the clinical literature."

Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group. Evidence-based medicine. A new approach to teaching the practice of medicine. JAMA. 1992;268(17):2420-2425.

EBM takes into account:

  • the best available research evidence;
  • the clinician's expertise;
  • and the patient's values & preferences.

It consciously places value on all three aspects in the clinical decision making process.

Read more about EBP here:

de Groot, M., van der Wouden, J. M., van Hell, E. A., & Nieweg, M. B. (2013). Evidence-based practice for individuals or groups: let's make a difference. Perspectives on medical education, 2(4), 216–221.

The 5 Step EBM Method

1. Assess your patient. Identify the clinical problem and determine the pertinent issues.

2. Ask a clinical question. Create a clear, focused and concise clinical question that you can search.

3. Acquire the best evidence. Search the appropriate databases and resources to find the best evidence.

4. Appraise the evidence. Determine whether the information you found is relevant, valid and applicable to your patient.

5. Apply the evidence to patient care. Incorporate the patient preferences and your clinical expertise along with the new evidence you found.

Subject Experts

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Kaitlyn Van Kampen
Clinical Librarian
Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 263
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Deb Werner
Director of Library Research in Medical Education
Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 268
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Holiday Vega
Librarian for Health, Psychology, and Social Work