Evidence-Based Medicine: Physician Experience Scenario

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Scenario: Patient X Ben Jones In theory, "that evidence-based medicine (EBM), determined by the outcomes of clinical trials, would be an objective decision-making tool to help patients and their doctors make treatment decisions, once a patient has been diagnosed" (Torrey 2012:1). However, many problems exist with how the clinical trials that define evidence-based medicine are designed. Not all clinical research is created equal a small clinical trial with a homogeneous set of patients may not be applicable to the situation of Patient X. The psychological and social needs of patients are unique, and while scientific evidence must ground practice, each case must be evaluated on an individual basis. A sixty-five-year-old patient in the peak of health may not have the same health goals as one which is suffering from a chronic illness. Serious questions have also been raised regarding the bias behind many of the trials that define evidence-based medicine. "A study reported in 2004 showed that when researchers looked into the qualifications of the authors of studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), considered to be two of the most prestigious medical journals, up to 32% of them had undisclosed conflicts of interest" (Torrey 2012:1). This does not mean that all EBM is invalid, or that there is nothing to be learned from clinical trials. But not all EBM is created equal. Additionally, a
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