It’s often said that the one thing that’s certain is uncertainty, and that certainly is true in making diagnoses in medical practice.
Diagnostic uncertainty is said to be especially common in general practice. Some reasons why: (1) The typically low prevalence of serious diseases in a community population weakens the overall predictive value of diagnostic tests; (2) Most disease that presents in general practice does so in its early stages, before many “red flag” symptoms appear; (3) Many tests are predictive of a symptom that presents in many diseases; (4) Combined, these factors leave primary care physicians with a limited selection of useful diagnostic tools.
New tools, perspectives, and guidelines for minimizing diagnostic uncertainty have been reported in recent days. Click on the slides above for the latest findings.