A new video released through the JAMA Network and the BMJ captures the achievements of evidence-based medicine (EBM) and explains what remains to be done, as explained by pioneers in the field.

Leaders in EBM were invited to participate in the oral history event and filming, and the interviews were woven together to create “Evidence-based medicine: An oral history,” available free of charge online. The video features these leaders’ perspectives on such topics as:

  • The past, present and future of EBM
  • Barriers and controversies associated with the EBM movement
  • Personal reflections of clinical and patient encounters 
  • Shared decision-making in the context of EBM

Video participants include Iain Chalmers, MBBS, Gordon Guyatt, MD, Muir Gray, MD, and David L. Sackett, MD.

In the video, Dr. Guyatt recalls how the name “evidence-based medicine” came about, when he was director of the internal medicine residency program at McMaster University in 1990. At this time, he sought to change the program so that physicians managed patients based not on what authorities told them to do but on what actually worked, as evidence demonstrated.

“My first attempt at coming up for a name for it was ‘scientific medicine’ … [but] the basic scientists were so enraged that I was calling what we were doing ‘scientific medicine’ that I thought, ‘Back to the drawing board,” Dr. Guyatt said. “And the second notion of what we might call it was ‘evidence-based medicine,’ and boy, did that turn out to be a good choice.”

“The paradigm has shifted now,” Dr. Gray said in the video. “We are now in a world in which people are clear that knowledge has a quality as well as a quantity. … We’re not finished yet. It’s very clear now this is the century of the patient. … We now have the knowledge, and we now have the technology to deliver it.”

An accompanying editorial also was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the BMJExtended interviews with participants also are available online.

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