Evidence Based Medicine and the Aristotelian Approach

“…How do medical myths persist among practicing physicians? Part of the persistence comes from the idea that new studies aren’t really needed. There’s that old Aristotelian pull. The whole idea of empirical testing goes against the Aristotelian approach that has been a guiding principle of research. Under this approach, researchers should first try to understand the nature of the disease. Once you understand the problem, a solution will become self-evident…Instead of focusing on the front-end knowledge about the true nature of disease, [evidence-based medicine] shows the power of asking the back-end question of whether specific treatments work…The Aristotelian approach can go seriously wrong if doctors embrace a mistaken conception or model for how an ailment operates.” (p. 88-89)

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