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Physicians shouldn’t ignore their gut instincts in diagnosis

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Linda Girgas, M.D., writes:

“Medicine is an art as well as a science. As physicians, we all strive to practice evidence-based medicine. There are clinical pathways that direct us how to diagnose diseases and start treatments. Yet, our training often shapes our instincts through real-world experiences to be on the alert to when something is off.

“The world is full of stories of doctors missing diagnoses and not listening to patients. Patients often ‘know’ there is something wrong with them, even when the tests indicate otherwise. Their gut instincts are often correct.”

Dr. Girgis’s advice is basically that physicians need to blend science/evidence-based methods and their instincts — their sixth sense, if you will, based on their in-born intuition and experience.

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