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BMJ 2015;350:h3089 doi: 10.1136/bmj.

h3089 (Published 8 June 2015) Page 1 of 1




David Sackett and the birth of Evidence Based Medicine:

How to Practice and Teach EBM
Peter E H Richardson managing director
British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery, London WC2N 6ET, UK

Smith has written a most interesting obituary of Dave Sackett, on to sell 40 000 copies and was quickly followed by a second
whom I first met in 1995 at his office at the John Radcliffe in 2000, with an accompanying CD-ROM (remember those?).
Hospital in Oxford.1 I was publishing director for Churchill Now in its fourth edition, it has sold some 150 000 copies in
Livingstone and had made the appointment directly with him English and has been translated into several other languages.
by email, of which he was a prolific and early user. The book did much to help Sackett spread his message about
Sackett sat at a very large screen, talking to me and breaking EBM, and in turn his many speaking engagements helped to
off from time to time to take part in an evidence based medicine sell it widely. With EBM now a mainstream part of the medical
(EBM) email discussion group he had started. I was there to curriculum this book has perhaps served its main purpose, but
ask him to write a practical handbook on EBM for clinicians its approachable, enthusiastic, and at times irreverent style has
and students. After some searching questions he agreed and helped many clinicians and students to understand—and even
immediately summoned William Rosenberg, a clinical tutor in enjoy—this important subject.
the department, and announced that they would be working
together on the book. Competing interests: None declared.
Brian Haynes of McMaster University, Canada, and W Scott
Richardson of University of Rochester, USA, also joined the 1 Smith R. David Sackett. BMJ 2015;350:h2639. (14 May.)

team, and the book was published in 1997 as Evidence Based

Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3089
Medicine: How to Practice and Teach EBM.
© BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2015
The first print run was 2500, and we knew that we had a success
on our hands when it sold out in a week. The first edition went


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