Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors' self rating of skills in evidence based medicine

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 03 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:280

Way that clinical epidemiology is taught must be examined

  1. John Macleod (, clinical research fellow,
  2. Jonathan Mant, senior lecturer
  1. Department of Primary Care and General Practice, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT
  2. Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow G21 3UW

    EDITOR—Young et al suggest that Australian general practitioners may be confused about certain basic epidemiological concepts.1 Responsibility for some of this confusion presumably lies with whoever taught them epidemiology.

    Part of the problem is suggested by the opacity and ambiguity of some of the epidemiological expert definitions against which general practitioners' knowledge was assessed. For example, for relative risk the expert definition was “Relative risk estimates the magnitude of an association between exposure and disease.” So it does, but how does this definition distinguish relative risk from absolute risk?

    Furthermore, for relative risk reduction the …

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