The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine

Daniella Zipkin serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Over the course of her career, Daniella Zipkin has made numerous contributions to the Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) movement though research, instructional courses, and national presentations. EBM is an approach to patient care that focuses on integrating patient values, clinical experience, and best available research.

In order to effectively utilize EBM, medical professionals must remain well versed in the most recent and relevant data, and communicate the evidence effectively to patients. Dr. Zipkin has reviewed the literature on best practices regarding presenting risks and benefits to patients, and the review was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2014, accessible at

This review has informed the production of Bottom Line evidence summaries, available through the Web Only section of the Journal of General Internal Medicine’s website, at, and then choosing the “Bottom Line Summary” box.

EBM begins and ends with the patient. Bottom Line summaries can be used by clinicians in encounters with patients, to aid in communicating high impact data in a way that patients can apply to their own experience.