Learn How You Think
The human mind uses rules of thumb that help it to make decisions or quickly slice through an overwhelming amount of input. These shortcuts can also lead to certain types of mistakes—what psychiatry calls “cognitive biases.”
Pat Croskerry, MD, PhD, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has written and lectured on cognitive-related factors in medical decision making. He described the two ways we make decisions: intuitive and rational. Intuitive decision-making is fast and compelling—it is the snap judgment or the gut instinct. Rational decision-making is slower and more deliberate.
While intuitive decision-making often serves physicians well, it is occasionally catastrophic. By virtue of its very speed and certainty, it can blind a physician to considering alternative explanations for a particular patient’s presentation. It’s important to understand that everyone relies on intuitive decision making, that it’s part of human nature, and that you must recognize it in order to overcome it.| ← Previous | | | Next → | Single Page