Medical Intuition, Capacity and Measurement

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Medical Intuition can sometimes be elusive and dangerous:

A team of medical researchers from the University of Michigan was called in to improve conditions. When they checked the quality of physicians’ decisions—and quality control is not yet always the rule in hospitals—they found a disturbing result. Not only did doctors send most patients into the unit; they sent those who should have been there (who had a heart attack) as often as those who should not have been there (who did not have a heart attack). Doctors’ decisions were no better than chance, but nobody seemed to notice. As a second study revealed, the long-term risk factors doctors were looking for were not the most relevant ones for discriminating between patients with and without acute ischemic heart disease.*

Decisions, whether based on intuition or on science, should always be compared to evidence.

* Gigerenzer, G.  Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious (2005). Viking.

 

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See also :

Mental tunels in Medical Practice: Their implicit effect in clinical judgement

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