August 19, 2021

Avoiding Cognitive Errors in Clinical Decision Making -07/28/2021

Annals of Internal Medicine

So this article is also super valuable and important and should be read when you have some time to think about it.  Turns out that we all make mistakes when we try to diagnose a problem, and this can occur somewhere between 10-40% of the time.  There are over 100 different biases and heuristics that can explain our errors.  Some occur because we might not properly weigh a diagnosis- we might select a diagnosis that is not very likely for a particular setting.  But a whole different group of biases occur basically because of our natural desire to want to be right- We might fall in love with one of our initial impressions.  This article talks about ways that we might combat some of these errors, which should include occasional reshuffling of our differentials, and question asking such as “what doesn’t make sense?”