The Annual Scientific Meeting of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) took place this year in Glasgow, Scotland, May 22-24, 1996, under the presidency of Professor Sir Miles Irving. On this occasion, major emphasis was placed on the UK Government's Research and Development Programme with its principal pillars of health technology assessment, guidelines, and, in particular, evidence-based medicine.
The meeting commenced with a presentation by David Sackett, a Canadian who is currently professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University in England. He reminded the assembled surgeons of the physicians' experience of failing to recognize the value of thrombolytic therapy for myocardial infarction until at least 10 years after there were sufficient data in the published literature to make the value of this treatment obvious. To keep up-to-date, the modern clinician would need to read 19 scientific articles every day of the year, an impossible task. The