Intended for healthcare professionals


Experts: off with their heads

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 06 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:a

Dave Sackett, the father of evidence based medicine, announces on p 1283 that he will “never again lecture, write, or referee anything to do with evidence based clinical practice.” And so an era ends.

Sackett is not doing this because he has ceased to believe in evidence based clinical practice but because he is worried about the power of experts. In characteristically provocative style he proposes that “the retirement of experts be made compulsory at the point of their academic promotion and tenure.” There are two problems with experts. Firstly, their opinions …

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