Part three of a series. See also parts one and two. Previously, I have suggested that patients should do their best to get their doctors as free from the influences of their biases as possible. In order to do that, patients (and doctors) need to recognize what forces are working against them. Here's what negatively influences a doctor’s decision making: 1. They fall behind in clinic. Your doctor may be naturally ...

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Part two of a series. See also part one. Previously I’d discussed how most of the time diagnoses are relatively straightforward. But what do doctors do when a diagnosis isn’t immediately clear to them? Likely one or more of the following: 1. Revert to "novice" thinking. Which, in fact, is completely appropriate. We're taught in medical school that approximately 90% of all diagnoses are made from the history, so if we can't ...

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Part one of a series. The first patient I ever saw as a first year resident came in with a litany of complaints, not one of which I remember today except for one---he had headaches. The reason I remember he had headaches isn't because I spent so much time discussing them but rather the opposite: at the time I knew next to nothing about headaches and somehow managed to end the ...

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