Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Evidence-based Medicine Simplifies and Personalizes Medical Care

It is my belief that evidence-based medicine simplifies, personalizes, and improves medical care. This is in contrast to an article in the NY Times called Miracle Workers? which discussed the challenges doctors have balancing the individual needs for treatment and that treatment suggested by population based research. My letter to the NY Times was as follows:

Mr. Rieff's conclusion that "evidence-based medicine may help the physician avoid the subjective and take a harder line on what is medically useful and what is medically futile...is hardly likely to
help a doctor treat a person, as opposed to that person's disease" is wrong. Evidence-based medicine at a minimum holds doctors accountable to the latest research which often takes seventeen years before becoming common practice in your doctor's office. Contrary to his conclusion, evidence-based medicine makes it easier to treat each patient as an individual. It simplifies the doctor's decision making process and allows a basic starting point for each person's treatment and then allows the doctor to investigate what makes that person a unique exception. In a country that continually ranks last among industrialized countries in keeping its citizens healthy, evidence-based medicine helps not only improve the quality of healthcare delivered in this country but also helps preserve the sacred doctor-patient relationship in a time more crucial than ever as confusion and frustration abounds as individuals are increasingly inundated with drug ads and accessing a plethora of both good and bad medical information on the web.

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