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Medicine - MS3

A collection of library resources for MS3 medical students.

What is EBM?

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the combination of clinical expertise, patient preferences, and evidence-based research.

Five Steps of EBM

EBM commonly consists of five steps, which are often referred to as the "5 A's of EBM": 

1. Ask

Construct an answerable question using the PICO framework or other clinically appropriate approach.

2. Acquire

Convert your question to a search strategy and locate the best evidence.

3. Appraise

Critically evaluate the evidence for reliability and validity.

4. Apply

Integrate the evidence with patient preferences and clinical experience.

5. Assess

Determine the effectiveness of the process for improving patient care and outcomes.


See also: University of Minnesota Libraries' Evidence-Based Practice: An Interactive Tutorial

Using PICO

The PICO Framework helps clinicians design an answerable question by breaking the clinical problem into searchable concepts:

P: patient or population

I: intervention

C: comparison or alternative treatment

O: outcome being measured

Example: For patients aged 65 years or older (P), how does the use of an influenza vaccine (I) influence the risk of developing pneumonia during the flu season (O)? [The comparison (C) is not receiving an influenza vaccine]

Evidence Pyramid

Keep the levels of evidence in mind as you identify appropriate resources and appraise the evidence:

EBM Pyramid and EBM Page Generator, copyright 2006 Trustees of Dartmouth College and Yale University. All Rights Reserved. Produced by Jan Glover, David Izzo, Karen Odato, and Lei Wang.

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