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What next for education in evidence-based healthcare? A call for submissions
  1. David Nunan1,
  2. Rod Jackson2,
  3. Carl Heneghan1
  1. 1 Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Nunan, Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, UK; david.nunan{at}

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The medical curriculum should reflect this importance of changing information for today’s practitioner—the necessary skills must be taught and assessed with the same rigour as the physical examination.1

Shaping the who, what, when and how for the teaching of Evidence-Based Health Care in the next 20 years

Nearly three decades ago, Gordan Guyatt, David Sackett and colleagues published ‘Evidence-Based Medicine: A New Approach to Teaching the Practice of Medicine’ and introduced the term synonymous with medical practice as we know it today.2 A ‘paradigm shift’ in medical practice and teaching took place—the explicit use of medical literature (alongside traditional skills) to guide medical practice and the demand for formal training on the effective use of evidence in day-to-day patient care.

The words ‘teach’, ‘teacher/s’, ‘teaching’, ‘educate’, ‘educator/s’, ‘educating’ and ‘education’ are used 53 times in this seminal article; ‘practice’ 46 times; over half of the article describes effective EBM teaching and implementation in medical training. The emphasis was on teaching ‘new skills’ that were ‘not traditionally part of medical training’ and further evaluations of the EBM approach.

Today, we announce plans for a stream of BMJ EBM content to revisit efforts to teach the skills of EBM and ask you to join us. A key aim is to discuss, debate and demonstrate effective teaching. Where necessary, we want to challenge current practice and consider the next paradigm shift in teaching and practice. And where possible, we want to challenge with evidence.

A brief history of teaching EBM

Systematic use of research evidence to inform decisions in healthcare practice is a relatively new idea. Frustrated by uncertainty at the bedside, Alvin Feinsten introduced clinical epidemiology in the late 1960s. This frustration, shared by Suzanne and Robert Fletcher, took forward the concept …

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