Mark Graber mark.graber at IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
Thu Jan 7 14:59:35 UTC 2016

Our movement to reduce diagnostic error faces the reality that these errors are not only common, some or perhaps many are inevitable given the complexity of the diagnostic process and the limits and foibles of our own cognition.  We seem to be ‘hard wired’ to commit the cognitive mistakes that underlie some diagnostic errors. Perhaps the largest challenge we face is the question of whether we can actually improve cognition to avoid these errors. 

I’m sure everyone who follows our listserv is familiar with Pat Croskerry’s ongoing contributions to this debate through his work on debiasing.  I would like to call to attention several other great reads on this question.  My personal favorite is the bible for the ‘wrongology’ movement, Kathryn Schulz’s book “Being Wrong”.   If you don’t have time to read the book, watch her TED talk. 

The attached review from the Times discusses two very recent books on this debate, and the review itself is a treat in summarizing the interaction between Daniel Kahneman, who is pessimistic about the possibility of ‘debiasing’, and Steven Pinker, a strong proponent of our capacity to overcome our cognitive biases.

Mark L Graber MD FACP
President, SIDM  

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

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