‘I hear the evidence bells a ringing. Systematic reviews are singing’

‘A 21st century clinician who cannot critically read a study is as unprepared as one who cannot take blood pressure or examine the cardiovascular system’ (Glasziou P et al, 2008).[1]

At the end of last year, I was teaching as part of the module for the MSc in Applied Health Services Research at the University of Exeter Medical School. In discussion with a colleague about content for the week’s teaching sessions, she asked whether I had heard the parody of Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’ put together by Professor James McCormack (@medmyths) based at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. I hadn’t, so I went to investigate.

The practice of evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the integration of clinical expertise, patient values and the best available evidence from systematic research into the decision-making process for patient care.[2] The lyrics of Professor McCormack’s four-minute parody, ‘Viva La Evidence’, cover many important topics of EBM, and its history, principles and aims. It is a great way of explaining the hierarchy of evidence, systematic review and questions to ask in critically appraising a study. Professor McCormack’s video is easily accessible, to clinicians and patients alike. Listen for yourself; enjoy! It will definitely feature in any future talks I’m asked to give on EBM.

I’ve since signed up to his YouTube channel which has more of the same.

Purchase the following titles from our webshop: What is Evidence-based Medicine?, What is a Systematic Review?, What is an NNT?


[1] Glasziou P, Burls A, Gilbert R. Evidence based medicine and the medical curriculum. BMJ 2008; 337: a1253.

[2]Sackett DL, Rosenberg WM, Gray JA, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t. BMJ 2006; 312: 71–72.