Innovating Medical Knowledge: Undestanding Evidence-Based Medicine as a Socio-medical Phenomenon

In Nikolaos Sitaras (ed.), Evidence-Based Medicine: Closer to Patients or Scientists? InTech Open Science (2012)
Maya J. Goldenberg
University of Guelph
Because few would object to evidence-based medicine’s (EBM) principal task of basing medical decisionmaking on the most judicious and up-to-date evidence, the debate over this prolific movement may seem puzzling. Who, one may ask, could be against evidence (Carr-Hill, 2006)? Yet this question belies the sophistication of the evidence-based movement. This chapter presents the evidence-based approach as a socio-medical phenomenon and seeks to explain and negotiate the points of disagreement between supporters and detractors. This is done by casting EBM as more than the simple application of research findings to clinical care and improved health outcomes, but rather an umbrella term that harnesses a specific set of pedagogical objectives (some rather radical) under a name that makes it difficult to argue against.
Keywords Evidence-based medicine  Social movements  Philosophy of Medicine  Randomized Controlled Trials  Hierarchy of evidence  Outcomes research
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