Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do not let Evidence Based Medicine Set Your Expectations: Stay Curious

In design, designers use design principles to predict what works for users and what does not work for users. These predictions are based on different types of studies. Yet, it is always advised to test the products or the designs that are based on these studies and predictions with users. This means designers must maintain open eyes, open minds and peaked curiosity.

Open eyes, open minds and peaked curiosity are traits that all of us physicians need to have to deliver good health care. Most of us do, but, Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) movement unintentionally undermines such traits. EBM has not only set up high quality treatment guidelines, but also set up our expectations.

I think that we should adopt the ‘designers method’ of principles in practicing medicine. Even though we apply EBM “principles” we should still test the results on our patients. Testing usually means having attentive ears. If an EBM treatment is provided, ask patients, in details, about the effects of this treatment. By comparing what patients say with what EBM say we actually test these principles in real life.

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