No Response and Definitions

robert bell rmsbell200 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Nov 4 00:27:33 UTC 2015

Dear all,

Unfortunately I got no posted replies to my "Do something Now" e-mail a few days ago.

I wondered how much discussion had taken place about the definition of Errors in Medicine.  I suspect a fair amount.  Has a meeting been devoted to this?

Does the Society know what we are trying to improve?

Are the errors we talk about well defined.

For example when should the diagnosis be made in different conditions? And what is a late diagnosis, a missed diagnosis, and is there a quick diagnosis?

Should the time factors be different in different conditions? Say 2 - 3 months for growing out TB bacteria. Also, Is a SORE THROAT a final diagnosis when you have not done viral studies to identify the virus?  And who would do viral studies in most cases?

Would difficult to diagnose conditions be given more time to make the diagnosis?  Myasthenia gravis was said at one time on average to take about 7 years to diagnose.

Do we know what are average times to diagnose anything? 

What would you do with quick diagnoses? Should that be a goal? Should quick diagnoses have a separate category? Say a strong guess of Lady Windermere’s syndrome in 15 minutes.

And do best/strong guesses count for anything? 

Does average time to diagnosis play any part in the definitions. And then are those times different for rural practice versus say Medical School practice.

Does all this need defining for us to move ahead fast?

What are the big hindrances to defining everything?

And I am sure that others can come up with other questions and ideas.

Just some thoughts.


Robert M. Bell, M.D., Ph.C.

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

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