Evidence based medicine should be taught in medical schools
- By: Manique Wijesinghe
With a click of a mouse, medical students can access thousands of research articles of variable credibility about any topic or clinical problem, using resources such as Medline, Ovid, or the Cochrane Library. But sifting through this information and coming up with a coherent, practical, and, above all, effective solution is a big challenge.
Critical appraisal skills are essential to medical students and doctors to make sense of the overwhelming volume of available information. Integrating evidence based medicine-“the judicious application of best current knowledge to the condition and values of the individual patient”1-into clinical practice is more likely to be effective at changing existing behaviour and practice than traditional methods such as workshops and stand alone courses.2
Simply applying the best current knowledge, however, is not enough: you must evaluate the information carefully before doing so. Citing her experiences of making evidence based mistakes, Hilda Bastian, a researcher in Germany,