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The sins of expertness and a proposal for redemption

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7244.1283 (Published 06 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1283

Rapid Response:

More than an expert

Really David Sackett can't be allowed to bow out so gracefully. Those
of us who were fortunate enough to encounter him during his EBM career
will think of him not as an expert, but as an educator. After all the
world is full of experts and who cares about most of them? What he taught
us was not to rely on his expertise but to ask our own questions and think
for ourselves. There is a whole generation of us that owes him a debt for
enabling us to discover that the stupid questions we never dared ask
because some expert would sneer at us are actually perfectly sensible, and
for giving us the confidence to address them.

So thanks for all that - and I hope he shakes up the world of RCTs by
asking stupid questions like "why do none of my patients ever meet the
inclusion criteria for the most methodologically pure trials"?

Toby Lipman

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 May 2000
Toby Lipman
General Practitioner
Westerhope Medical Group