Before a team of doctors at McMaster University including Dr. Gordon Guyatt championed evidence-based medicine, physicians often misunderstood or ignored the available evidence in their clinical decisions.
Guyatt, professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics and medicine in McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, first coined the term "evidence based medicine" in an editorial in the American College of Physicians Journal Club. Since introducing the idea in 1991, he has actively promoted the concept as a central part of the practice of medicine today.
He has led the way in developing the methodology for randomized trials and systematic reviews, and taken a leading role in more than 20 randomized trials, and published over 70 systematic reviews.
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has now short-listed Guyatt as one of 10 candidates for its Lifetime Achievement Award from a list of 117 nominees. The award recognizes the individual who has, over his or her working lifetime, made a unique and substantial contribution to improving health care, whether in clinical practice, health services, public health, health policy, medical education or medical research.
The winner of the lifetime achievement award will be determined by online voting at www.bmj.com. Voting started January 4 and continues to February 12.
"My being shortlisted is a testimony to the remarkable contribution McMaster has made to the world of evidence-based care," said Guyatt. "This is another way in which McMaster's leadership on the international scene is being acknowledged."
In a BMJ poll three years ago, readers ranked evidence-based medicine among the 10 most important medical advances since the journal was first published.
The winners of this and several other awards will be announced at the BMJ Group Awards ceremony in London March 10. The awards recognize some of the most influential men and women in healthcare from around the world.
Other nominees for the BMJ Lifetime Achievement Award are:
- Professor Douglas G. Altman, director of the Centre for Statistics in Medicine at the University of Oxford. He is one of the world’s leading experts in health research methodology, statistics and reporting.
- Professor Michael Baum, visiting professor of medical humanities at University College, London. Constantly pushing the boundaries of breast cancer research and treatment, he pioneered the strategy of lumpectomy combined with radiotherapy.
- Professor D. G. Harendra De Silva, a pioneering pediatrician in the faculty of medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka whose efforts have created awareness of and tackled child abuse in his home country and beyond.
- Professor Lesley Fallowfield, director of Cancer Research UK’s Psychosocial Oncology Group is one of the few international figures who have established psycho-oncology as an important subspecialty.
- Professor Jerome Kassirer, Tufts University School of Medicine, is former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine in the 1990s who dedicated his career to promoting rationality and integrity in clinical research and medicine.
- Professor Michael Kew, physician to Nelson Mandela and professor emeritus at the University of Cape Town, devoted 40 years of his career as a doctor and scientist to finding the cause of liver cancer, which accounts for the greatest number of deaths from cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, and how to prevent it.
- Professor Wendy Savage, honourary visiting professor at Middlesex University and an obstetrician and gynecologist who is a champion of women’s rights in childbirth and fertility.
- Professor Marleen Temmerman, an expert in women’s health at the University Ghent, Belgium. An expert in women’s health, she was elected to the Belgian senate in 2007 where, as chairwoman of the Belgian Commission of Foregin Affairs, she worked to build connections between research field experience, technical expertise and politics.
- Professor Alimuddin Zumla, professor of infectious diseases and international health at University College London Medical School, is one of a new emerging breed of "clinician scientists" dually qualified in medicine and science whose work has led to improvement in the prevention and management of infectious diseases worldwide.