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Clinical pathways and guidelines: a plea for professional independence

Paul M McGurgan
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (9): 567. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10352
Published online: 21 May 2012

To the Editor: Clinical pathways and guidelines are the inevitable consequence of evidence-based medicine and, in general, have been a force for good in terms of patient care. However, the experiences of Nanan et al1 and Dietz and Stokes,2 and my own experience of working with countless exasperated colleagues in clinical practice, suggest that the pendulum may have swung too far towards uniformity of care.

  • Paul M McGurgan

  • School of Women’s and Infants’ Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.

Correspondence: paul.mcgurgan@uwa.edu.au

Competing interests:

I am head of a clinical obstetrics and gynaecology service (Osborne Park Hospital, Perth) and a Fellow of the Australasian Association for Quality in Health Care. I have written guidelines and I run a medical student workshop on evidence-based medicine theory and practice.

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