In his own words, "The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research."
The key thing that differentiates modern medicine from the healing arts of the past is its embrace of science. And few people did more to advance that cause than David Sackett.
Sackett, who died on Wednesday at the age of 80, was widely known as the father of the "evidence-based medicine" movement—arguably one of the most important recent advances in medical practice.
Many people might wonder, "Wasn't medicine always evidence-based?" Not necessarily. Until researchers like Sackett started to push the profession in a more scientific direction in the 1990s, a surprising amount of medical practice was simply rooted in expert opinion and whatever doctors learned in medical school — not the best or most up-to-date knowledge. But then came "evidence-based medicine.
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