It is a truism that Doctors read a lot - from before they become doctors - they cram for admission tests, to their time in Medical College and then all their lives - they read throughout their lives. The latter part of their reading is to brush up on old knowledge as well as to pick up on the latest advances.
In a long career spanning many decades it is impossible to imagine that the practice of Medicine would have remained the same- so Doctors need to keep abreast with the changes.
In the early days it was enough for doctors to rely upon their knowledge and experience - and that is why patients preferred Doctors with grey/ white hair - since it implied age and wisdom arising out of experience.
And now look at this chart -
As we notice here that Doctor's personal Opinions and Ideas are placed at the Bottom of the Pyramid - it would be incorrect on the doctor's part to rely solely on his experience or go blindly by his ideas.
The statement 'I have always done it like this' is no longer relevant in the current situation - especially at a time when our knowledge about diseases, our methods of treating them as well as the technology available to treat them are changing at a rapid rate.
As one can see, the strongest evidence for treating a disease in a certain way should ideally be based on the recommendations of a Randomised Double Blind Study. In a double blind study neither the researcher nor the recipient know whether they are receiving the medicine or the placebo - so it is blind at both ends - this avoids observer bias and tends to give more accurate results.
So, How would you like to be treated?
As one can see decision making regarding patient care is a little more complicated than just following the evidence.
This chart brings about graphically our current concept of patient management which is Evidence Based Practice (EBP) -
(EBP) requires that decisions about health and social care are based on the best available, current, valid and relevant evidence. These decisions should be made by those receiving care, informed by the tacit and explicit knowledge of those providing care, within the context of available resources.
Dawes et al-(2005)
One more thing i would like to add - the best research studies are paid content. It would be impossible for a casual Google search to lead you to the best evidence for treating an illness. At the most it can be informative, and at the worst it can misguide you thoroughly. So be careful with how you use your medical knowledge that comes out of a Google Search.