Dr. Gord Guyatt, a leading proponent of evidence-based approaches to clinical practice, has been awarded the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston.
The award recognizes Guyatt’s "contributions to the advancement of evidence-based medicine and its teachings" — an approach which uses critical appraisal and applies the best available evidence from science to decisions on patient care.
Guyatt, 58, a professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Department of Medicine, first coined the term "evidence-based medicine" more than 20 years ago, in 1990. He has published more than 450 peer-reviewed articles in medical journals and written extensively on health care policy in the media.
He said it is "wonderful" to have such recognition for his work. "It is very nice to have recognition that goes beyond the scientific community."
However, he said his family, which includes three children ages 25, 11 and 10, have been "relatively muted" in their acknowledgement of their father’s prestigious award. "It isn’t quite ho hum," he said.
Guyatt is not resting on his laurels. Currently, he is extensively involved in a system called GRADE (Grading, Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) — an approach which rigorously rates the quality of evidence. Over 60 groups in the world have now adopted this approach, he said.
He served as chair of the executive board for major American College of Chest Physicians anti-thrombotic guidelines that will be released next February.
"Just as McMaster’s residency program was a laboratory for the application of evidence-based medicine, these guidelines are a laboratory for the application of GRADE and the optimal production of guidelines, including an innovative approach to dealing with conflict of interest," Guyatt said.
Guyatt was one of 66 appointments announced by the Governor General. He is being made an Officer of the Order and will receive an insignia at a ceremony to be held at a date yet to be announced at Rideau Hall.