Debate to examine evidence-based medicine
The role of evidence-based medicine (EBM) in the delivery of
healthcare in the 21st century will be the subject of a public debate
on March 31 featuring the doctor who first coined the phrase and a
leading researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota who previously
studied at McMaster University.
Gordon Guyatt, a leading advocate of EBM who coined the phrase in 1990,
and Victor Montori, who studied under Guyatt in the early 2000s and
now conducts research into how knowledge is produced, disseminated and
taken up in medical practice, will highlight the state of EBM in the
debate from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the DialogueSpace on the fourth
floor of Mills Memorial Library.
The event, which will include a question and answer period, has been
organized by the McMaster Health Forum Student Subcommittee.
EBM represents the judicious use of clinical evidence in making
decisions about individual patient care. Supporters of EBM argue that
its integration of best research evidence, physician expertise and
patient values makes it an ideal model for guiding clinical practice.
They also suggest that it reduces variation among clinical practices,
discourages the use of unproven interventions, and brings consistency to
Critics of the approach, however, suggest that EBM prioritizes
experimental evidence over pathophysiological presentation,
case-specific histories, and clinicians' observational expertise. They
argue that EBM skews the autonomy of the doctor- patient relationship
by limiting the patient's ability to choose which treatment is best
for their unique circumstances. They also argue that EBM clashes with
the framework of many culturally-oriented, traditional approaches to
Guyatt will argue in favour of the importance of the continuing
prominence of EBM in modern medicine, while Montori will suggest that
the techniques of EBM should be used within the context of a different
approach. He advocates for an approach to research and practice that
reclaims a commitment to the patient, promoting a patient revolution.
The debate is open to all students, faculty and staff at McMaster, as
well as the community. If interested in attending, please RSVP to
email@example.com with EBM Debate in the subject line.
Guyatt is a professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemioloy and
Biostatistics, and a joint member in the Department of Medicine at
McMaster. He has written extensively on EBM, and is the primary editor
of the Users' Guides to the Medical Literature, a comprehensive set
of journal articles and textbook for clinicians who wish to
incorporate EBM into their practice.
Montori is a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of
Medicine, and conducts research through Mayo's Knowledge and
Evaluation Research Unit. His interests focus on clinical
decision-making in patients with chronic conditions, and the relation
between the quality of decision-making and patient outcomes, as well as
evidence-based clinical practice.
The debate is presented in partnership with the McMaster Alumni
Association, McMaster Student Union and the McMaster Medicine Student