Evidence-based medicine: What’s not to like? by Sandy Gottstein
medicine is the big thing these days.
Although this is certainly a step in the right direction, I
but wonder what took so long?
Regardless, the good news is that apparently there is now a more
concerted effort to base medicine on evidence.
The bad news is that it is an implicit recognition that medicine
particularly “evidence-based” in the past.
But is medicine really evidence-based now?
It all depends on the evidence.
Who is paying for it? Who is
influencing, if not directly paying
for, it and how is it being influenced?
What gets published in journals heavily financed by drug company
advertising? How does conflict
interest of those “peers” doing the reviewing affect what gets
published? How does ridicule of new
ideas and/or the people thinking them affect the questions being
I’m all for evidence-based medicine.
Who wouldn’t be?
But we shouldn’t kid ourselves that all evidence
is equal. Calling research
“evidence-based” in and of
itself does not make a study reliable
valid. “Evidence” derived from
sponsored/influenced studies, disclosed or not, simply cannot be
Research financed by someone or something that
benefit financially from the results of that research has no
cannot be assumed to be trustworthy. Period. No matter
where it is published.
No matter who the authors are. No matter how much
of it there might be.
A million times zero is still zero.
As I said, I’m all for evidence-based medicine. Who wouldn’t
evidence is not equal. We ought not to
ignore that fact. And do so at our own
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” –
Phillips (1811-1884), paraphrasing John Philpot Curran