Friday, February 29, 2008

What's in a Name

I stumbled upon a blog this week that has engulfed me. It is the science based medicine blog. It's authors include some of the various skeptic circles including Harriet Hall and Steven Novella among others. These are so many great conversations on this blog. But, I wanted to explore the name Science based medicine.

What is the difference between this and Evidence Based Medicine? Well, I believe little if you look at Sackett's discussion of what he meant by Evidence Based Medicine. EBM describes the use of research, clinical experience, and patient preference in clinical decision making.

All too often, however, EBM takes on an Evidence Only Medicine (as described by Nicholas Lucas) characteristic. This is where no decisions can be made without outcome based research to back it up. Of course this is a very narrow view and is impractical in the clinic.

I believe Sackett's ideas are better described by the term Science Based Medicine. This implies a decision making process consistent with the scientific method. Doesn't that sound more consistent with Sackett's aims?

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