Evidence-based medicine meets person centred care: a collaborative perspective on the relationship.

This short commentary was published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice and it was propelled by a discussion which took place on a private email list serve regarding the role EBM might play in the emerging fields of person centred medicine and precision medicine. Unfortunately, the article is behind a pay wall!

Price AI, Djulbegovic B, Biswas R, Chatterjee P. Evidence-based medicine meets person centred care: a collaborative perspective on the relationship. J Eval Clin Pract. 2015 Sep 10. doi: 10.1111/jep.12434. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26358758.


In a recent list-serve, the way forward for evidence-based medicine was discussed. The purpose of this paper was to share the reflections and multiple perspectives discussed in this peer-to-peer encounter and to invite the reader to think with a mind for positive change in the practice of health care. Let us begin with a simple question. What if we dared to look at evidence-based medicine (EBM) and informed shared decision making like two wheels on a bike? They both need to be full of substance, well connected, lubricated and working in balance, propelled and guided by a competent driver, with good vision to get the bike where we want it to go. We need all the tools in the toolkit for the bike to stay operational and to meet the needs of the driver. By the same rationale, evidence alone is necessary but not sufficient for decision making; values are necessary and if neglected, may default to feelings based on social pressures and peer influence. Medical decisions, even shared ones, lack focus without evidence and application. Just as a bike may need a tune up from time to time to maintain optimal performance, EBM may benefit from a tune up where we challenge ourselves to move away from general assumptions and traditions and instead think clearly about the issues we face and how to ask well-formed, specific questions to get the answers to meet the needs we face in health care.


© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

KEYWORDS: evidence-based medicine; person-centred medicine; philosophy of medicine

ebm pcc jecp


Melodies and Maladies: Reflections on Shakespeare and his Portrayal of Disease and Death

This short article was published in RHiME (Research and Humanities in Medical Education), which is the flagship journal of the University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and is run by the Medical Humanities Group and Medical Education Unit. I wrote this article in honour of William Shakespeare’s 450th birth anniversary in 2014.

Chatterjee P., Seth B.Melodies and maladies: reflections on Shakespeare and his portrayal of disease and death.RHiME [serial online] 2014[cited 2014 Jul 6];1:. Available here.


Shakespeare has long been acknowledged to be a pioneer in understanding the functions and dysfunctions of the human mind. However, very little discussion has centered on his knowledge of the physical science of medicine. In this article the authors reflect on Shakespeare’s portrayal of diseases and death in his work and conclude that he had significant knowledge of the contemporary medical sciences.

Keywords: Humanities, Literature, William Shakespeare

Learning Points:

The reviewer was a keen student of the Bard’s work and wanted us to focus on his depiction of the various fluids and their impact on health or disease as portrayed in his work; and of course, the vagaries of the mental faculties of man, one of the most widely used dramatic elements.


Dr. Bhavna Seth, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi. Dr. Seth helped search the Bard’s work for medical references and in the drafting of the article as well.

Governments are legally obliged to ensure adequate access to health information

This article was inspired by the work being done by the Health Information for All by 2015 group in bringing information to both care seekers and care givers.

Bhaumik S, Pakenham-Walsh N, Chatterjee P, Biswas T. Governments are legally obliged to ensure adequate access to health information. Lancet Glob Health. 2013 Sep;1(3):e129-30. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(13)70043-3. Epub 2013 Aug 2. PubMed PMID: 25104255.


Access to reliable, relevant, and implementable health-care information has been identified as one of the key determinants for reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).1 In 2006, Pang and coworkers2 noted that the challenge is to “ensure that everyone in the world can have access to clean, clear knowledge—a basic human right, and a public health need as important as access to clean, clear water, and much more easily achievable.” However, this challenge has repeatedly been put on the sidelines.


Blogs and Twitter in medical publications: too unreliable to quote, or a change waiting to happen?

Chatterjee P, Biswas T. Blogs and Twitter in medical publications: too unreliable to quote, or a change waiting to happen? S Afr Med J. 2011 Sep 27;101(10):712, 714. PubMed PMID: 22272866.


With the ubiquitous connectivity offered by the Internet, social media sites (like Twitter and Facebook) and personal publishing platforms (blogs) are proliferating rapidly. In this new, evolving scenario of social media, these tools become an important medium to disseminate information at a lightning speed. However, the conventional medical publication model is less than eager to regard them as equivalent to traditional modes of information dissemination. In this article we examine the role played by social media as a critic of the medical publication system, and how it acts as a safeguard by building a platform for post-publication peer review.