Smart reading of medical articles “Is not gold all that glitters”

Smart reading of medical articles “Is not gold all that glitters”
Mario Marzilli, MD
University Division of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Department. Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria, Pisa

INTRODUCTION : Clinical trials are the best vehicle for producing information that may potentially modify clinical practice. Given the multiplication of medical journals and the need for continuous update of knowledge, article reading is occupying a growing fraction of doctor’s time. Doctors commonly approach medical articles with a positive bias, ready to accept conclusions and suggestions, particularly when the article is published by a major journal, where manuscripts undergo a severe reviewing process and acceptance rate is known to be very low.
Recently, however, several papers have triggered hot debates and suggest a greater caution in accepting the Authors conclusions, because data could be read in a different way or because protocol assumptions are not universally accepted. Some example may clarify these concepts and reinforce the need for “smart” reading of medical articles, including those appearing in major journals.



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