David Lawrence Sackett, OC FRSC (November 17, 1934 – May 13, 2015) was an American-Canadian medical doctor and a pioneer in evidence-based medicine.He is known as one of the fathers of Evidence-Based Medicine. He founded the first department of clinical epidemiology in Canada at McMaster University, and the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. He is well known for his textbooks Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine.
In 1994, Sackett accepted an invitation from (later, Sir) Muir Gray of the UK National Health Service to start the first Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Britain, as Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford.
Clinically, Sackett practiced as a general internist and was appointed Physician-in-Chief of Medicine at the Chedoke-McMaster Hospital in Hamilton Ontario in 1986, then Head of the Division of General Internal Medicine in 1988. In Oxford, he practiced as Honorary NHS Consultant in General Medicine.
Retired from clinical practice in 1999, he returned to Canada and created the Trout Research & Education Centre, where he read, researched, wrote and taught about randomized clinical trials. He also authored, with Sharon Straus, the definitive guide about mentorship for clinician scientists. Along the way, he has published 10 books, chapters for about 50 others, and about 300 papers in medical and scientific journals. He died on May 13, 2015 in Markdale, Ontario.
David Sackett won many awards, honorary degrees and accolades for his research, teaching and writing. Notably, in 1992, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2000, he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2009, he was awarded the Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award.He was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and McMaster University, Canada, and appointed as Honorary Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, at the West China University of Medical Sciences, and Adjunct Professor of the University of Ottawa, Canada.