What is EBM?
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) requires the integration of the best research evidence with our clinical expertise and our patient’s unique values and circumstances.
- By best research evidence, we mean clinically relevant research, sometimes from the basic sciences of medicine, but especially from patient-centered clinical research into the accuracy and precision of diagnostic tests (including the clinical examination), the power of prognostic markers, and the efficacy and safety of therapeutic, rehabilitative, and preventive strategies.
- By clinical expertise, we mean the ability to use our clinical skills and past experience to rapidly identify each patient’s unique health state and diagnosis, their individual risks and benefits of potential interventions/exposures/diagnostic tests, and their personal values and expectations. Moreover, clinical expertise is required to integrate evidence with patient values and circumstances.
- By patient values, we mean the unique preferences, concerns and expectations each patient brings to a clinical encounter and which must be integrated into shared clinical decisions if they are to serve the patient; and by patient circumstances we mean their individual clinical state and the clinical setting.