Teaching evidence based medicine in family medicine


  • Davorka Vrdoljak Department of Family Medicine University of Split, School of Medicine Split


Evidence based medicine, Critical appraisal, Family medicine


The concept of evidence based medicine (EBM) as the integrationof clinical expertise, patient values and the best evidence was introducedby David Sackett in the 1980’s. Scientific literature in medicineis often marked by expansion, acummulation and quick expiration.Reading all important articles to keep in touch with relevant informationis impossible. Finding the best evidence that answers a clinicalquestion in general practice (GP) in a short time is not easy. Fiveuseful steps are described –represented by the acronym “5A+E”: assess,ask, acquire, appraise, apply and evaluate.The habit of conductingan evidence search “on the spot’’ is proposed. Although students ofmedicine at University of Split School of Medicine are taught EBMfrom the first day of their study and in all courses, their experience ofevidence-searching and critical appraisal of the evidence, in real timewith real patient is inadequate. Teaching the final-year students thepractical use of EBM in a GP’s office is different and can have an importantrole in their professional development. It can positively impacton quality of their future work in family practice (or some other medicalspecialty) by acquiring this habit of constant evidence-checking toensure that best practice becomes a mechanism for life-long learning.Conclusion. EBM is a foundation stone of every branch of medicineand important part of Family Medicine as scientific and professionaldiscipline. To have an EB answer resulting from GP’s everyday work isbecoming a part of everyday practice


Download data is not yet available.


Sackett DL, Rosenberg WMC, Gray JAM, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t? BMJ. 1996;312:71-5.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University: How to read clinical journals: I. Why to read them and how to start reading them critically. Can Med Assoc J. 1981;124:555-8.

Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group. Evidence-Based Medicine: a new approach to teaching the practice of medicine. JAMA. 1992;268(17):2420-25.

Grad R, Macaulay AC, Warner M. Teaching evidence- based medical care: description and evaluation. Fam Med. 2001;33(7):602-6.

Alper BS, Hand JA, Elliott SG, Kinkade S, Hauan MJ, Onion DK, et al. How much effort is needed to keep up with the literature relevant for primary care. J Med Libr Associat. 2004;92(4):429-37.

Shaunessy AF, Slawson DC, Bennett JH. Becoming an information master: a guidebook to the medical information jungle. J Fam Pract. 1994;39:489-99.

Shaunessy AF, Slawson DC. Are we providing doctors with the training and tools for lifelong learning? BMJ. 1999;319:1-3

Smith R. What clinical information do doctors need? BMJ. 1996;313:1062-8.

Smith R. A POEM week for the BMJ. BMJ. 2002;325:983.

Hague J. Patient-oriented evidence that matters: POEMs. EJHP. 2004;2:56-7.

White B. Making evidence-based medicine doable in everyday practice. www.aafp.org/fpm Accessed September 2011.

Jones TW, West CP, Newman JP. In search of the facts: evidence-based medicine through the ages. JCOM. 2011;18(5):205-10.

Guyatt G, Haynes B, Jaeschke R, Cook D, Greenhalgh T, Meade M, Green L, Naylor C, Wilson M, McAlister F, Richardson M. Introduction: the philosophy of evidence-based medicine. In: Guyatt G, Rennie D, editors. Users’ guides to the medical

literature: a manual for evidence-based clinical practice. Chicago: AMA Press; 2002. p. 3-12.

Haynes BH. What kind of evidence is that Evidence- Based-Medicine adviocates want health care providers and consumers to pay attention to? BMC Health Services Research. 2002;2(3):1-7.

Henning G, George J. Teaching evidence-based medicine in a small rural family medicine practice office. Fam Med. 2003;35(4):241-2.

Lang E. The why and the how of evidence-based medicine. MJM. 2004;8:90-4.

Anonymous. Evidence Based Medicine.www:// pennstatehershey.org/web/cpc/home/ebm Accesed August 2011.

Shuuval K, Shachak A, Linn S, Brezis M, Feder- Bubis P, Reis S. The impact of an evidence-based medicine educational intervention on primary care physicians: a qulititative study. J Gen Intern Med. 2007;10:327-31.

Shawn ST, Dantas GC, Upshur REG. Evidencebased medicine in primarey care: qualitative study of family physicians. BMC Family Practice. 2003;4(6):1-9.

Cramer SC, Mahoney MC. Introducing evidence based medicine to the journal club, using a structured pre and post test: a cohort study. BMC Medical Education. 2001;1(6):1-4.




How to Cite

Vrdoljak, D. (2011). Teaching evidence based medicine in family medicine. Acta Medica Academica, 41(1), 88–92. Retrieved from https://ama.ba/index.php/ama/article/view/139



Continuous Education of Family Medicine Teachers