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SOURCE Surgical Outcomes Resource Centre

Welcome to the SOURCE website! A multi-diciplinary endeavor, SOURCE is committed to promoting evidence-based surgical practice through its Evidence-based Surgery (EBS) Program.    

The Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOURCE), Department of Surgery, McMaster University, is proud to be a world leader in the area of Evidence-based Surgery (EBS). Our Evidence-Based Surgery Working Group has developed an ongoing series of instructional articles that are being published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery (CJS). The articles act as “Users’ Guides to the Surgical Literature” that teach clinicians how to interpret and apply evidence to clinical scenarios by use of various examples from the field of surgery. Each article is prefaced with a surgical clinical scenario, and the series is intended to educate surgeons and residents regarding how to find, assess, and incorporate evidence from the surgical literature. Our instructional articles use examples from various surgical sub-specialties such as general surgery, thoracics, orthopedics, surgical oncology, head and neck, and plastics. We have also developed an interactive, small group session EBS Workshop based on our article series. Currently 13 articles in this series have been published in CJS (see EBS article page for a list).

The SOURCE Evidence-based Surgery article series is being modeled on the successful, world-renowned evidence-based medicine (EBM) series developed by clinicians in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University. This article series was first published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), and is now published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Drs. Guyatt, Cook, and Sackett were the persons who spearheaded this groundbreaking undertaking. In brief, the first series of evidence-based medicine articles focused on introducing basic epidemiological concepts to practitioners, for example, how to perform a critical appraisal of the literature. The CMAJ was purposely chosen for its Canadian identity. The series grew in popularity and eventually evolved into a text on clinical epidemiology that was translated into several languages and was paramount in helping to put McMaster University on the international map. Feedback from its readership revealed a need to illustrate the concepts further by teaching physicians how to apply epidemiological concepts to real patient cases. Thus, a second article series, published in JAMA, with a larger audience in mind, applied those concepts to real-life scenarios. 

As evidence-based principles continue to gain in popularity, other specialties have begun to develop evidence-based, user-based, educational tools. The rationale behind the development of SOURCEs Evidence-based Surgery Article Series and Workshop is to promote the use of evidence-based practice in the language surgeons are most comfortable with, using surgical examples. Our article series was developed in collaboration with Dr. Gord Guyatt and Dr. Deborah Cook.

The SOURCE EBS Workshop developed by our EBS Working Group is based on the content of the articles in our EBS Article Series and has been designed as an interactive forum where learners have opportunities to ask questions and work together in small groups with specially trained tutors who also are surgeons (see EBS Workshop page for more details).


Surgical Outcomes Research Centre
202-39 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario 
L8N 1Y3 

Jessica Murphy
Research Assistant



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