Day one of my elective placement at The Lancet and this book is shoved into my hand and I’m told “Go away and read this; it’s a Noddy guide to reading a paper, but it’s what we use.” Without wanting to put too fine a point on it, if it’s good enough for the Editors at The Lancet, it’s damn well good enough for the likes of you and I!
This book provides a great introduction to the daunting world of evidence-based medicine; explaining exactly what makes a paper worth believing and which papers (even in the ‘decent’ journals) you should ignore. The book also teaches you how to use electronic databases, such as Medline, to quickly and easily scour the published manuscripts to find whatever it is that you’re after.
This book is written by a doctor; a doctor who (by her own admission) is “useless” at statistics. This means that it doesn’t get ‘carried away’ with the stats at any point and key concepts are explained simply, without patronising the reader.
Reading this text taught me a lot and so far I’m managing to ‘cut it’ with the people at The Lancet without embarrassing myself, despite being armed only with my own tiny brain and what I’ve read in this book – not bad eh!
Reviewed By: Ian Anderson (15.09.2006)
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