MINUTES 6/1/99

Present: Jim Celentano, Steve Emond, Barney Eskin, Peter Wyer, Ben Yeh

The meeting was called to order at 1845 by the acting chairman Peter Wyer.

The slate of officers for the coming year was presented:

President--Peter Wyer
Secretary--Barney Eskin
Treasurer--Phil Hubel

With no further nominations from the floor, the slate of officers was elected unanimously. Peter Wyer assumed the chair.



The Evidence-Based Medicine Interest Group of SAEM was inaugurated at the national meeting of SAEM in Boston in May. Peter Wyer was elected Chair. Those present at that meeting as well as others who wished to join the Interest Group have been added to our list server, so that it can now be used by both our group as well as the Interest Group.
Several projects shared between us and the Interest Group were discussed. Peter Dayan has been working on the BIG CAT (Critically Appraised Topic) Project. Its purpose is to be able to post CATs of acceptable quality on our website. In order to accomplish this, it was proposed that an editorial board be selected from members of the Interest Group and operate similarly to those boards of print and on-line journals. In addition, the need for a defined protocol/methodology for generating the CATs was discussed (for example, as outlined in Oxman et al (1994) Users' Guides to the Medical Literature VI. How to Use an Overview. JAMA 272, 1367-71). Jim Celentano suggested that each posted CAT include comments sent in by readers and that these comments would help others judge the quality of the CAT. Barney Eskin proposed that each CAT be written independently by two people and that the Editorial Board then adjudicate between the two versions to come up with a final CAT for posting.

Peter Wyer has been negotiating with Emergency Medicine Abstracts (EMA) to review their bibliography and compile from it a structured quality-filtered database of clinical research. Peter announced that this has been approved by EMA. Steve Emond volunteered to assist with this project.

The project of formulating questions on current areas of interest in Emergency Medicine and preparing structured overviews to answer these questions was discussed.


Combining our monthly meetings with the general (primarily internal medicine and emergency medicine physicians and librarians) EBM meeting was discussed. A proposal was made that we should meet separately between 1630 and 1730 for our planning session, followed by a general planning session with the whole group between 1730 and 1830, then an educational session from 1830 until 2030. Since this would result in a long meeting, it was proposed that the educational sessions be held every other month.

Although having food at the monthly meetings does not appear to have increased attendance, it is a convenience which everyone feels desirable to continue.


The following volunteered for other positions in the group:

Webmaster: Ben Yeh will continue in this role.
Methods for evaluating teaching EBM: Barney Eskin continues to compile information about this.
Director of the October 1999 NYAM course: Barney Eskin, with the assistance of Peter Dayan


Acceptance letters will be sent out shortly to the first 16 applicants accepted into the workshop with a request for payment of the tuition. Slots for which payment is not received within 3 weeks will be filled from the wait list. Should a participant have to withdraw after this, a full refund will be given if we are notified of the withdrawal before August 15; no refunds will be given for withdrawals after this date except under unusual and extreme circumstances. This date was chosen to allow sufficient time for those still on the wait list to fill the slots.

Two 8-member groups have been officially confirmed. Steve Hayden (San Diego) has accepted an invitation to be one of the tutors at the course. He has run well-attended half and one day courses on EBM at national ACEP and SAEM meetings. The tutor and cotutor roster will be:


John Allegra Peter Dayan
Steve Hayden Barney Eskin
Jim Celentano (cotutor) Phil Hubel (co-tutor)

The need to raise $3300 to cover expenses for the Emergency Medicine portion of the workshop was discussed. Several members of the group, including Peter Dayan and Phil Hubel will approach pharmaceutical firms in the area seeking unrestricted grants. Asking programs that are sending participants to the course for additional funds was proposed.

We plan on modeling the handouts for the course after those that will be distributed for the course at McMaster in June.

Ted Gaeta (Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn) has asked that we conduct a one day workshop on EBM for hospitals in Brooklyn in the spring, possibly modeled after the 1 day workshop at SAEM.


Thus far two programs have donated a total of $700. Since we contribute to the cost of the food at the meetings ($100 per month), additional funding needs to be sought. It was proposed that we try to tap the same sources of support as will be approached for the workshop.


Peter Wyer pointed out that the website is important as a vehicle for disseminating proposals and documents and that it can be used as a way of unifying the members of the SAEM Interest Group. He will contact SAEM to request that they add a link to our website on their website. Ben Yeh will include a link to their website on our website.



A new users' guide was recently published: Guyatt et al (1999) User's Guides to the Medical Literature: XVI. How to Use a Treatment Recommendation. JAMA 281, 1836-43.


Various approaches to evaluating teaching EBM were discussed.

The next meeting of the Evidence-Based Emergency Medicine Working Group
will be held at the NY Academy of Medicine at 1215 Fifth Avenue (at 103rd St.)
at 6:30 PM. Food will be available.

Having no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2015.

Respectfully submitted

Barney Eskin