Welcome to the LimitsofEBM, a website devoted to articulating the limits and shortcomings of Evidence-Based Medicine (i.e., EBM). This website is directed primarily at health care professionals, but obviously anyone curious about the topic is welcome. Criticism of Evidence-Based Medicine has always been present, but it has clearly picked up momentum over the past decade. Many physicians have deep reservations about the entire enterprise of EBM, but have difficulty expressing their concerns. This website explains why EBM doesn’t work and why, ultimately, we would be better off without it.
Now, before you dismiss the ideas here as the ravings of an isolated lunatic and leave this website, I suggest you Take the Test to see whether you might find some of the ideas here illuminating.
For people who want a relatively short summary of the positions articulated here, I have posted the links to a 4 part lecture series on the shortcomings of EBM below (approximately 70 minutes in length).
At the heart of this website is a narrative about the misconceptions of EBM and why, despite its common-sense appeal, it just doesn’t work in practice. I have tried to lay out this website to faciliate this narrative. Nonetheless, most sections are relatively self-contained and can be viewed in any order. Ultimately, like the spokes of a wheel, they all lead back to the one common theme: that Evidence-Based Medicine represents an ineffectual and misguided approach to the notion of “evidence” and the way evidence does and should inform medical practice. This website is committed to trying to understand why, on a common-sense level, EBM seems to make so much sense, but on a practical level, it seems to fail so profoundly.
In case you do not make it through this website, I will disclose my conclusion at the outset. I am firmly of the belief that Evidence-Based Medicine is an ineffectual and misguided enterprise and that advances and improvements in medical care over the past several decades have not occurred because of EBM, but rather in spite of it. I really mean this. And this website will illustrate why and how I’ve come to this conclusion.
I have recently uploaded to YouTube a series of four brief lecture presentations on the shortcomings of Evidence-Based Medicine and why it doesn’t work. They can be viewed on YouTube as Evidence-Based Medicine: A Critical Appraisal
The thoughts and ideas discussed on this website and in the associated videos represent my own reflections and ideas. They do not in any way represent the Department of Surgery or the University of Calgary Medical School.
As of Oct 12, 2016, I’ve updated the contact info for this website. If you wish to provide me with feedback or comments, you can email me at the following address: