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The “Experience-Based Medicine” Of The Thirteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

Physicians were careful to observe their patients closely and to try to identify the condition from which each was suffering, and when they were unsure of the nature of an illness, they feared to administer medicines lest their known effects might be harmful to the patient. Anticipating today's "evidence-based medicine," the physician's practice involved the conscientious use of current best evidence. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the phrase "evidence based medicine" is capable of arousing fierce debate within (and without) the medical community. It has been defined by its supporters as "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients". Evidence is not all there is to medicine, after all; data only become evidence at the moment when they are interpreted by experience and expectations.

Keywords: evidence-based medicine; physicians



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