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Education debate: clinical diagnostic reasoning


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Boyd, GW (2011) Education debate: clinical diagnostic reasoning. Internal Medicine Journal, 41 (7). pp. 573-576. ISSN 1444-0903

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Whilst it is clear that experienced clinicians adopt a rational approach of diagnosis, the
logic of their clinical reasoning has been difficult to define. I outline here an approach
based on the four categories of a complete diagnosis: Anatomical diagnosis (system
involved); Pathological diagnosis (nature of the condition); Physiological diagnosis
(functional consequences) and Aetiological diagnosis (background cause). Each phrase
of the history and examination data is assigned to one or other of these categories as the
case unfolds, with interpretations and interactions allowing sub-conclusions that gradually
build to a final clinical diagnosis overall. The system has the advantage of facilitating
a diagnosis individualized to the patient, rather than to some previously learned diagnostic
‘checklist’. As such, it should provide an advance over current problem-based
approaches to clinical diagnosis.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Boyd, GW
Journal or Publication Title: Internal Medicine Journal
Publisher: University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection
Page Range: pp. 573-576
ISSN: 1444-0903
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02529.x
Additional Information:

The definitive published version is available online at:
NJ 3/12/12 See: for licence information. Accepted version may be made open, but published version may not.

Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2012 04:39
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2016 04:20
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