Saturday, September 02, 2006

Evidence based medicine, rules and clinical experience

Evidence-based medicine ( EBM) is a hot topic in medicine; and seems to makes a lot of sense. Rather than practise medicine based on personal whims and fancies, doctors follow guidelines and rules based on evidence gleaned from clinical trials. While this is a great concept ( especially for bureaucrats and corporates, because this makes medical care so much easier to "manage") , the fact remains that clinical experience is an intangible which is hard to capture and pin down in the form of "evidence" and ""guidelines". Junior doctors learn all the rules - but the really good senior doctors learn when to break the rules - and for which patients ! This is why medicine will always remain an art !

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