Griffin, Robert, Yeonwoo Lebovitz, and Rebecca English. Transforming Clinical Research in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities: Workshop Summary. National Academies Press, 2010. Harvard (mirror):

Fewer than half of all the medical treatments delivered today are supported by evidence (IOM, 2007), yet the United States lacks a clear prioritization of the gaps in medical evidence and an allocation of clinical research resources to efficiently and effectively fill these evidence gaps.

How can I quickly know whether a medical treatment is supported by evidence? I am aware could do a literature review, but is there any faster way, without having to ask a physician?


  • (IOM, 2007) J. Michael McGinnis, LeighAnne Olsen, Katharine Bothner, Daniel O'Neill, and Dara Aisner. Learning What Works Best: The Nation's Need for Evidence on Comparative Effectiveness in Health Care. IOM roundtable on evidence-based medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64784/?report=classic ; https://web.archive.org/web/20170211005938/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64784/

    Estimates range widely concerning the proportion of medical care in the United States that is based on, or supported by, adequate evidence [9-14]. However, given concerns about the extent to which this information may be generalized and the quality of the evidence that is used, some place this figure at well below half. Regardless of the precise level, there is no question about the need for improvement. Part of the challenge is the appropriate delivery of what has already been proven effective. Medical care is becoming more complex with the increase in multifaceted chronic diseases, the development of new interventions, and the pressures to reduce the time of patient-provider interaction in the face of greater administrative burdens. New care management approaches, decision support systems, and incentives will be required to help providers and patients work together to ensure that the care delivered is the care that is known to be most effective.


1 Answer 1


A quick way to know if a certain treatment method is supported by scientific evidence without asking a physician is to check some free and easy-to-read evidence-based medical articles on sites like:

Paid evidence-based articles:

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.