DR. ROMULO AGUILAR

Evidence-based medicine is the integration of best research evidence into one’s clinical expertise and the patient’s unique values and circumstances. The paradigm shift to evidence-based medical education was introduced many years back, driven mainly by the voluminous amount of medical literature available to both the medical students and practitioners as well. In essence, it provided a process for critically appraising available information and data. Paramount objective in introducing EBM is to elevate the practice of medicine based mostly on “best available evidence.”

Presently, as we continue to teach EBM, we find it most useful to evaluate its effectiveness by devising ways to evaluate the performance not only of the students but, of medical practitioners and teachers of EBM as well. Performance evaluation of students revolve around the question, “How am I doing?” This would involve evaluating the ability to ask answerable questions, perform a systematic search for best evidence, critically appraise the evidence and, integrate evidence and patient’s values. A step further, especially at the level of medical practitioners, is to ask, “Is our practice improving?” This requires asking ourselves whether what we have learned has been translated into better clinical practice. Finally, we evaluate teachers of EBM. This would necessitate much introspection as teachers ask themselves questions like, “Am I helping my trainees learn how to ask answerable questions?” “Am I teaching and modeling critical appraisal skills?” and other similar questions.