Getting the Evidence Straight in Emergency Diagnostics


  • Eddy S. Lang MD,

  • Andrew Worster MSc, MD

  • A related article appears on page 782.

  • Supervising Editor: David C. Cone, MD.


ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2011; 18:797–799 © 2011 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine


The interpretation and optimal application of the myriad of diagnostic modalities at the emergency physician’s (EP’s) disposal is a core challenge of clinical practice. Connecting the wealth of scientific literature that informs our understanding of test performance, including elements of the history and the physical examination, is a daunting task. Translating this knowledge into improved patient outcomes requires two fundamentals; the first involves getting the evidence “straight” through systematic approaches that highlight quality work and methods for getting evidence to the point of need. This commentary discusses the potential impact of the first installment in the “evidence-based diagnostics” series of the journal, highlighting how this work complements existing resources of evidence-based medicine. In addition, a vision is presented for how the insight from this series can achieve integration into the clinical and academic mission of emergency medicine.