Evidence-based medicine and general practice.
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Evidence-based medicine (EBM) aids clinical decision making in all fields of medicine, including primary care. General practice is characterized by particular emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship and on biomedical, personal and contextual perspectives in diagnosis. Most evidence available to general practitioners (GPs) addresses only the bio-medical perspective and is often not directly applicable to primary care, as it derives from secondary or tertiary care. Emphasis on the biomedical domain and the randomized controlled trial (RCT) alone reflects a reductionist approach that fails to do justice to the philosophy of general practice. The art of medicine is founded on context, anecdote, patient stories of illness and personal experience, and we should continue to blend this with good quality and appropriate research findings in patient care.
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