David Sackett, the father of evidence-based medicine (EBM), died recently - exactly 25 years after the term EBM was coined. This coincidence calls for reflection on the historical significance of EBM and on Sackett's role. The rise of EBM appears to be part of a much broader development: a shift from 'trust in the experts' to 'trust in numbers' that occurred under the pressures of the socio-political conditions of the late twentieth century. Insight into this historical context contributes to a better understanding of the emergence, merits and weaknesses of EBM and of the current tensions between medical professionals and insurers. However, context alone does not explain everything; the course of history - and the history of EBM - is partly determined by special men and women, individual reformers who manage to set things and people in motion. David Sackett is an excellent example of this.

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bolt, T.C. (Timo C.), & Huisman, F.G. (Frank G.). (2015). David Sackett en 25 jaar evidencebased geneeskunde. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 159. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/94753