What is evidence-based medicine?

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an applied aspect of clinical epidemiology.  The fundamental tenet of EBM is that the practice of medicine should be based on valid, clinically relevant research data.* This is in preference to the traditional method of medical training—still in sway—that is weighted more toward authoritative “experts,” espousing their best judgments, which are based on their experiences and their understandings of pathophysiology.

Once fully integrated, EBM will place human medicine on a scientifically sound foundation so that decisions concerning diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and risk can be made on the basis of more predictable outcomes.

(*To be accurate, this definition should include the phrase, “whenever possible,” as medical ethics precludes conducting research that includes inhumane circumstances.)

What is evidence-based veterinary medicine?

Evidence-based veterinary medicine is the incorporation of EBM principles into the veterinary profession.

While there is no difference in the basic concepts of EBM and EBVM (including the need to observe animal welfare practices in the conduct of research), the task facing EBVM is monumental in that veterinary medicine covers several species of animals—many of which contain multiple strains/breeds with their idiosyncrasies—and the need of clinically relevant research to support them all.

Purpose of an evidence-based veterinary medicine association

The EBVMA is composed of individuals who desire that the principles inherent in the concept of evidence-based medicine become the foundation of veterinary medical training and practice. These individuals decided that the best means of focusing this large and complex undertaking was to establish an international organization and to delegate specific goals to committees within that organization to accomplish this objective.