It was with great joy that I read Alex Beam’s opinion on evidence based medicine in the Boston Globe, July 8,2011. I have been writing about the absurdity of evidence based medicine and the premise that is a new and exciting way to practice medicine. I especially enjoyed his comments on the current medical description of this wacky theory.
He writes, “What in heaven’s name, for instance, is “evidence-based medicine’’? Here is a quote from the august British Medical Journal that should set us straight: “Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.’’ And the opposite of this would be . . . divination? Are men and women trooping out of the nation’s medical schools trained to flip coins or toss the I Ching on the floor of the intensive care unit if a diagnosis isn’t quickly forthcoming?”
It made me laugh out loud. My premise for the ridiculous nature of evidence based medicine is, when has medicine not be evidence based? I have never worked in a practice in the last 30 years where I could make up treatments and hope for the best. I believe the concept of evidence based medicine has put a strangle hold on creative medical thinking and problem solving. So many practitioners readily dismiss patient symptoms as psychosomatic when tests don’t give a definitive result. I think that is why the show House is so successful because he doesn’t prescribe to evidence based thinking.
Recently, what has gotten me annoyed and riled is that nurse practitioners have bought into this thinking. I was researching doctoral nursing programs in my area and it seemed every institution was espousing that their curriculum was evidence based. I wanted to scream. First, why do nurse practitioners feel obligated to blindly back this theory? It indicates to me a curriculum that is unimaginative and rigid. As a profession, we don’t need to verify ourselves by this approach in order to gain recognition and respect.
A big thank you to ALex Beam, a non medical person for seeing through the illusion. Here is the link to the article.