Less life threatening differential diagnoses

robert bell rmsbell200 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Aug 1 23:08:15 UTC 2015

To me it seems that despite frequency patterns medical students are rightly taught at great length to focus on not missing the life threatening diagnosis. Is this done at the expense of missing the diagnosis with less dangerous competing conditions that are on the differential diagnostic list.

For example, how much do most medical students/residents know about shingles pain and symptoms prior to lesion development, with any lack of knowledge leading to the “diagnosis” of possible acute abdomen?

I would argue that in training knowing FAR more about the less dangerous differential diagnoses would get us more quickly to an accurate diagnosis, at possibly lesser cost.

So should there be in training more focus on the less serious competing differential diagnoses? 

Rob Bell

Moderator: David Meyers, Board Member, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine

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