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It is a time of change for evidence-based medicine (EBM, the field) and for EBM (the journal). With this issue of EBM I become its new Editor; I have assembled an editorial board consisting of primary care and internal medicine practitioners with expertise in both critical appraisal and clinical practice (general practice, family medicine, internal medicine, paediatrics and obstetrics and gynaecology). The main purpose of the journal remains the same: to briefly summarise and critically appraise articles that appear in the peer-reviewed health literature and are likely to be valid and relevant for clinical practice. The world of healthcare, however, has changed since EBM arrived on the scene.
The past 20 years have seen the birth of EBM1 and its adolescence, during which grown-ups in medicine either seemed skeptical about the upstart movement or described it as nothing new. I witnessed this development and took on a role that included its teaching and practice. Journal club during my residency (postgraduate training) usually involved an article that was chosen for little apparent reason (not because of a question it was likely to address). The article was then shredded (at least figuratively) by a resident, and then specialist commentary based on clinical experience and expertise was sprinkled in. When the concept of EBM appeared in the literature, and I had attended a teaching-EBM workshop at McMaster University, my eyes were opened to how much more useful the medical literature could be. The need to handle the information explosion in an organised fashion was great. EBM served as a framework for selecting and evaluating articles. It became a …