Check this out. What you will see are some interesting observations on EBM by a family physician who is also a professor who teaches public health courses at Georgetown University. While we are all now familiar with EBM terminology and concepts, we might not know a few things that this article points out. Like:

  • EBM is a relatively new concept, with the discipline emerging in and around 1991.
  • Prior to 1991, the CSFD humorously tells his students that doctors practiced “eminence” based medicine.
  • EBM didn’t just pop up. There were several thought leaders who made it happen.
  • Finally, there are several identifiable clearing houses that determine what “EBM” is gospel and what isn’t.

Good stuff! As this post points out, EBM has had some really spectacular triumphs, like demonstrating conclusively that PSA testing, for the population at large, doesn’t save lives. EBM has also faced some challenges, as its thought leaders retire, some of its clearinghouses are shuttered and debate has raged concerning how much EBM debate should be allowed to rage in public.

Bottom Line. It is sort of amazing to think about medicine before EBM. Doctors were doing what “made sense” to them, although what seemed logical was often incorrect. All of which makes me wonder as to whether, someday, we will look back on the EBM brand of medicine that is being practiced in 2018 and decide that it was archaic. 


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