WHEN A HEADLINE SHOUTS “NEW STUDY SHOWS…,” many readers accept the story that follows as fact and expect the latest medical finding to translate quickly into treatment. But the reality is that the quality of studies’ evidence can vary widely, and the journey from discovery to clinical application is a long, hard slog. Here, in a hypothetical example, we describe how research progresses through the medical literature‚ and how evidence stacks up along the way.

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