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In medicine, evidence separates modern scientific treatment from Folk Art. Medical evidence is acquired through observation, experimentation, and information sharing in scientific peer-reviewed journals. When new treatments are used, millions of patients around the world provide additional evidence for what works and what doesn't.

In our new world of instant information exchange and empowered patients, how are clinicians and empowered patients challenging traditional ways to collect, evaluate, and publish evidence? What evidence should we trust? This program, moderated by Peter Frishauf, frames the issues and proposes at least one solution to sorting through the evidence puzzle.

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Lawrence Green, or Larry Green, is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco and director of the Society, Diversity, and Disparities program at UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center.  He’s the author of an excellent article about evidence in the launch issue of the Journal of Participatory Medicine called “The Field-Building Role of a Journal About Participatory Medicine and Health, and the Evidence Needed.” 

Richard Smith was for many years, 13 years, editor of the British Medical Journal and is a leading proponent of open access publishing.  He was editor of the British Medical Journal when the journal first moved to online publishing and made the journals archives freely available, a policy that I’m sad to report his successors have not entirely honored.  In any case, he sits on the Board of Directors of the Public Library of Science, an open access publisher of scientific and medical research, and importantly in the launch issue of the Journal of Participatory Medicine wrote an excellent article questioning peer review.  It’s called “In Search of an Optimal Peer Review System.” 

Our final guest is Dr. Jessie Gruman, who is co-editor of the Journal of Participatory Medicine and founder and president of the Center For Advancing Health.  She is the author of a wonderful book called AfterShock: What to Do When the Doctor Gives You, or Someone You Love, a Devastating Diagnosis, and it’s a book about how people use scientific information to make decisions about their healthcare and behavioral matters. 

So we’re going to start with Larry Green who is going to talk about evidence in traditional clinical medicine and basic science and how this world is changing in participatory medicine.  Larry. 

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