In my last post in the Towards a Discipline of Practice - Evidence Based Medicine series I looked at some of the problems associated with evidence based medicine. In my second post in the series I quoted the definition of evidence based medicine supplied by the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine:
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values ... When these three elements are integrated, clinicians and patients form a diagnostic and therapeutic alliance which optimizes clinical outcomes and quality of life. Centre for Evidence Based Medicine
I suggested that this quote captured four key elements relevant to all professions and professionals.
The first element was research evidence, essentially what works and why.
The second element was professional expertise, our capacity to understand and apply our professional knowledge in the circumstances of the particular case.
The third element was the patient or client, each with their specific attitudes and needs.
The final element was the integration of the first three elements - the diagnostic and therapeutic alliance - to provide the solution that best meets client needs.
Using these four elements as a framework, I now plan over forthcoming posts to extend my analysis by looking at some of the lessons from evidence based medicine for professional practice in general.