Todd D. Gastaldo, D.C. remarks:
While it is perhaps true that "conventional medical SCIENTISTS" follow the basic scientific medicine, some have noted that that the medical profession as a whole has been behaving quite unscientifically throughout its history.
Harold Wachsman, M.D. discusses this matter in Lethal Medicine [NY: Holt 1993]...and David M. Eddy, M.D. concluded in 1990 that:
"The intellectual foundation of medical care...is that whatever a physician decides is by definition correct." [Eddy DM. The challenge. JAMA (Jan12)1990]
In 1976, distinguished epidemiologist Kerr White reportedly told the clinical staff at Wellington Hospital in New Zealand that 15% of physician interventions were evidence based; after which distinguished epidemiologist Archie Cochrane reportedly called out, "Kerr, youre a damned liar, you know it isnt more than 10%." [Kerr personal communication to Iain Chalmers, 1992. Quoted in Johnathan Ellis, Ian Mulligan, James Rowe, David L. Sackett. Inpatient general medicine is [sic; see below] evidence based. The Lancet (Aug12)1995;346:407-10]
In 1978, the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress estimated that "only 10 to 20% of all procedures currently used in medical practice have been shown to be efficacious by controlled trial."
[Ellis et al. 1995.]
In 1979, Williamson et al. concluded that fewer than 10% of common medical practices for three subspecialties of internal medicine have any foundation in published research. [Williamson JW, Goldschmidt PG, Jillson IA. Medical practice information demonstration project: final report. Baltimore, MD: Policy Research, 1979. Cited in Ellis et al.
In 1983, the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress repeated its estimate that "only 10 to 20% of all procedures currently used in medical practice have been shown to be efficacious by controlled trial." [Office of Technology Assessment of the Congress of the United States. The impact of randomized clinical trials on health policy and medical practice. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983. Cited in Ellis et al. 1995.]
Epidemiologist Kerr L. White issued a challenge at meetings of the Health Advisory Panel to the US Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He challenged doctors to provide better evidence than the 10-20% figure - but "No-one could." [White K. Evidence based medicine (letter). The Lancet (Sep23)1995;346:837-8. Kerr L. White, 2401 Old Ivy Road, 1410, Charlottesville, VA 22903-4858.]
In "countless addresses and conferences" afterwards, epidemiologist White "often challenged others to provide better evidence but none was forthcoming." [Kerr 1995]
In 1991, the editor of the British Medical Journal noted that a health care conference in Manchester, UK, had been told that "only about 15% of medical interventions are supported by solid scientific evidence."
[Smith R. Where is the wisdom..." the poverty of medical evidence. BMJ 1991;303:798-99. Cited in Ellis et al. 1995]
In 1992, the same editor of the British Medical Journal further lamented the paucity of solid scientific evidence for most medical interventions. [Smith R. The ethics of ignorance. J Med Ethics 1992;18:117-18. Cited in Ellis et al. 1995]
In response to this apparently "gloomy" and "depressing" state of affairs, the A-Team, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine studied their own medical behavior for one month and determined that "more thannb half" of their care was evidence based, thus "support[ing] the view that learning how to practice evidence-based medicine is not just an academic exercise but CAN influence clinical decisions." [Ellis et al. 1995, emphasis added.]
Ellis et al. concluded, "We do not know how far our experience in one month on a general medical service is generalisable" - and then they erroneously titled their paper, "Inpatient general medicine IS evidence based" (emphasis added).
According to Ellis et al. , members of the A-Team, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine are: Jonathan Ellis, Ian Mulligan, James Rowe, David L. Sackett, Ben Box, Laura Burgoyne, Camille Caroll, Jo Chikwe, Gerry Christofi, Derralynn Hughes, Katie Jeffrey, Rowena Jones, Sharon Peacock, Moyra Reid, Kopal Tandon, Clare Wood-Allum, and Sebastian Walter. (Correspondence should be sent to: Prof David L. Sackett, FRCP, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Oxford-Radcliffe NHS Trust, Headley Way, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.)