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Evidence Based Medicine

"Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) requires the integration of the best research evidence with our clinical expertise and our patient's unique values and circumstances."

Evidence Based Medicine

By clinical expertise we mean the ability to use our clinical skill and past experience to rapidly identify each patient's unique health state and diagnosis, their individual risks and benefits of potential interventions, and their personal values and expectations.

By best research evidence we mean clinically relevant research, sometimes from the basic sciences of medicine, but especailly 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 patient values we mean the unique preferences, concerns and expectations each patient brings to a clinical encounter and which must be integrated into clincial decisions if they are to serve the patient By patient cicumstances we mean their individual clinical state and the clinical setting.

From: Evidence Based Medicine: How to Practice and Teach It by Sharon E. Straus, 2011.

Assess Ask Acquire Appraise Apply

Assess the patient and the problem to determine the pertinent issues which may include differential diagnosis, treatment decisions, or prognosis.


Ask a clear, answerable question to be pursued.


Acquire the evidence from appropriate sources.


Appraise the evidence to further examine its worth and reliability.


Apply the evidence to the patient.

Evidence-Based Tutorials

Evidence-Based Practice
Several video tutorials on how to Find-It Fast. Produced by the Yale University Cushing/Whitney Medical Library.

Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice
From Duke University Medical Center Library and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library.

Viva La Evidence
A song about evidence based healthcare -- a little bit about the history of evidence and then the key principles.

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