Intellectual humility

Grubenhoff, Joe Joe.Grubenhoff at CHILDRENSCOLORADO.ORG
Tue Apr 18 15:50:40 UTC 2017


This intellectual humility would certainly be a good defense against sunk costs, search satisficing, confirmation bias. Is not intellectual humility another way of acknowledging uncertainty. Or perhaps acknowledging uncertainty is the next step.

Step 1: I am humble enough to know that I don’t know everything (knowledge and humility)
Step 2: Since I don’t know everything, I must acknowledge the uncertainty inherent in my conclusion (uncertainty)
Step 3: I must gather enough evidence to be reasonably certain of my conclusion (diagnosis)
Step 4: I must act based on a reasonable amount of certainty (treat)
Step 5: I must acknowledge that if my treatment does not result in the expected outcome, I must reassess my conclusion (humility, uncertainty, diagnosis, treatment and feedback = calibration).

This principle of intellectual humility allows the diagnostician to take reasonable action while allowing the diagnostician to reassess. It is equally important in promoting gathering a reasonable amount of additional information and avoiding overtesting. The strong opinion weakly held means that if my treatment of presumed septic shock doesn’t yield the expected results, I might consider something else like PE (a case at our institution).

Excellent thought exercise. Thanks!

From: Centor, Robert [mailto:rcentor at UABMC.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:48 AM
To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
Subject: [IMPROVEDX] Intellectual humility

I just wrote a blog post based on a fascinating article about intellectual humility.  In it I suggest that this trait could help us minimize some diagnostic errors.  I would love the group’s comments:

A personality trait that may help us minimize diagnostic errors
http://medrants.com/archives/8695

======================
Robert M Centor, MD, MACP

Chair-Emeritus, ACP Board of Regents

Professor, General Internal Medicine
UAB
FOT 720
1530 3rd Ave S
Birmingham, AL 35294-3407

Phone: 205-934-7997
Fax    : 205-975-7797
--


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