Wednesday, May 27, 2009

UpToDate evidence based medicine or not? Not.

A few months ago medical blogger Laika wrote an insightful blog entry summarizing a meme which had been bouncing around twitter regarding whether UpToDate was evidence based medicine or some other entity.

I found the whole excercise to be a bit too philosophical for me. Regardless of what you call it I think everyone would agree that UpToDate is useful. It is a great starting place but usually insufficient as a single source.

I was reminded about it today when I came across this paragraph:

In the card on "Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and natural history of primary biliary cirrhosis." (Link for subsribers)

Regardless of the merits of UpToDate, nothing breaks the illussion of evidence based medicine like an author throwing out a random statistic like "approximately 15% of the 1,200 patients who I have seen..." without a reference. This is the epitome of expert oriented experiential medicine and has no place in EBM.
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