Todd M. Olszewski, PhD
Acknowledgment: The author thanks Justin Barr, David Cantor, Deborah Doroshow, Robert Hackey, Chin Jou, Barnett Kramer, Richard Mandel, Naomi Rogers, and the late John Ferguson and Robert Martensen.
Financial Support: By a DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Fellowship in the History of Biomedical Sciences and Technology of Medicine from the Office of NIH History and a Summer Scholarship from the School of Professional Studies at Providence College.
Disclosures: Dr. Olszewski reports an academic lecture honorarium from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences during the conduct of the study. The form can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M17-2418.
Requests for Single Reprints: Todd M. Olszewski, PhD, 1 Cunningham Square, Providence College, Providence, RI 02918; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: T.M. Olszewski.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: T.M. Olszewski.
Drafting of the article: T.M. Olszewski.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: T.M. Olszewski.
Final approval of the article: T.M. Olszewski.
Collection and assembly of data: T.M. Olszewski.
This article examines the history and effect of the Consensus Development Program (CDP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Introduced at a time when the relationship between the U.S. public and the medical profession was at a nadir, the CDP frequently placed the NIH in the middle of broader debates in medical practice and health policy during the last quarter of the 20th century. Drawing on published and archival sources, this paper sheds light on the challenges associated with collecting, assessing, and communicating evidence to medical professionals and convincing them to act on it in the name of improved health care. Administrators at the NIH sought a middle ground between changing medical practice and respecting professional autonomy, with varying degrees of success. This debate has continued implications today as tensions persist between scientific guidelines and the clinical medicine practiced by physicians and expected by patients.
Olszewski TM. Lost in Translation: Linking Biomedical Research and Clinical Practice at the National Institutes of Health, 1977 to 2013. Ann Intern Med. 2018;168:431–435. doi: 10.7326/M17-2418
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2018;168(6):431-435.
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