Clinical Reasoning

One subject I am especially interested in is the ways our inherent reasoning processes can lead us to develop and defend mistaken beliefs. Many features of human observation and thought have evolved for quick judgments and efficient approximations under conditions of limited information. The disadvantages of these heuristics is that they are more susceptible to bias and some kinds of error than careful, formal reasoning processes. As veterinarians,  the conclusions we make about our patients and our own treatments are subject to all the same sources of error that bedevil all human thinking.

I have written before about cognitive bias and clinical decision making in veterinary medicine. Now a new series of articles in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery has taken on the subject of clinical reasoning and cognitive bias. This entertaining and informative series should be a valuable resource for veterinarians but also for pet owners interested in how decisions are made in the care of their pet. Some of the articles are freely available, though not all are yet.

Think about how you think about cases

Intuitive and Analytical Systems

Managing Cognitive Error

Use of Heuristics and Illness Scripts- not yet published

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One Response to Clinical Reasoning

  1. Thank you for the articles. I recently lost one of my cats within a week of the first signs. He had excellent veterinary care but I know from this experience the better I understand where the vet is coming from the better for all of us. I have other senior cats and illness is a part of life,

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