Tumas Beinortas, Medical Student , Lithuania
I was born and brought up in Lithuania. Currently I am reading Graduate-Entry Medicine at the University of Oxford.
Prior to medicine I completed a Natural Sciences degree at University of Cambridge, where I specialised in Biochemistry. Through my years as a Biochemistry student I have done several Cancer Biology research projects in Vilnius (Lithuania), New York (USA) and Cambridge (UK).
My first acquaintance with Evidence-Based Medicine occurred at CEBM during my first year as a medical student. For me and my other Lithuanian course mate Dr. Karolis Bauza, the concepts of EBM appeared to be pivotal not only for good and ethical clinical practice, but also for successful advancement of medicine. We were highly impressed by the content and style of teaching, and thought that doctors and medical students in Lithuania, where reading primary literature and applying its findings in practice is not emphasized, would highly benefit from similar EBM teaching.
Supported by CEBM, in 2013 (Vilnius) and in 2014 (Kaunas), hometowns of two medical schools in Lithuania, we organized the first international Evidence-Based Medicine conferences in Lithuania. Over two consecutive years Dr. Kamal Mahtani, Dr. David Nunan and Dr. Jeremy Howick came to introduce the basic concepts of EBM philosophy, levels of evidence and to run two workshops on critical appraisal of randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. And the legacy of CEBM in Lithuanian medical schools is invaluable. Both conferences were welcomed with great enthusiasm and cumulatively attracted over 600 medical professionals and students. For the majority of attendants it was the first contact with EBM and post-workshop feedback revealed that over 90% of participants would use the acquired skills in daily practice. Following the conferences even higher proportion claimed that EBM teaching should become an official part of medical school curriculum.
Being solidly supported by CEBM, and promoted by the vacuum of EBM practice in Lithuania, we are currently establishing The Lithuanian Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine at Vilnius University, which is about to become the first EBM centre in a Baltic country. We hope, that the centre could proliferate and in addition to annual conferences, organize formal EBM teaching at medical school, support Lithuanian authors writing systematic reviews and also perform independent research. Although we are aware that many goals will take some years to achieve, we are also hoping to organize financial support for Lithuanian doctors to come and gain more in-depth EBM knowledge at CEBM courses.
Through my own relationship with CEBM I have significantly widened my angle of view and developed ideas of how high standard research can leave a direct impact on clinical practice. Guided by Dr. Mahtani I am also learning how to write a systematic review and in the future I hope to publish one under my own name.