Reason knows nothing: how biases infect medicine

Reason knows nothing: how biases infect medicine Podium Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine; 2018, Vol. 111(6) 214–215 DOI: 10.1177/0141076818766728 Salil Patel Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK Corresponding author: Salil Patel. Email: salil.patel@ndcn.ox.ac.uk Doctors are not creatures of fact. Despite the medical probabilistic objectivity. It is important to note that profession striving for logical progression, a limiting the process of diagnosis is complex, relying on a var- factor is the orchestration by humans. We, as a spe- iety of factors including medical history, background, cies, are tainted by cognitive errors. Our decisions are epidemiology and social factors. However, the paper influenced by a myriad of biases – both consciously reasoned that situational information, an example of and subconsciously tweaking everything we do. the representative heuristic, bypassed more relevant The names Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman factors in the decision-making process. These findings may not be familiar to readers of the Journal of the were remarkably similar regardless of training status Royal Society of Medicine. When asked to name implying such a bias was more deeply rooted than medical pioneers – a modern day Osler, Jenner or mere experiential naivety. Blackwell – the names of two Israeli-American psych- Cognitive http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine SAGE

Reason knows nothing: how biases infect medicine

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Royal Society of Medicine
ISSN
0141-0768
eISSN
1758-1095
D.O.I.
10.1177/0141076818766728
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Podium Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine; 2018, Vol. 111(6) 214–215 DOI: 10.1177/0141076818766728 Salil Patel Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK Corresponding author: Salil Patel. Email: salil.patel@ndcn.ox.ac.uk Doctors are not creatures of fact. Despite the medical probabilistic objectivity. It is important to note that profession striving for logical progression, a limiting the process of diagnosis is complex, relying on a var- factor is the orchestration by humans. We, as a spe- iety of factors including medical history, background, cies, are tainted by cognitive errors. Our decisions are epidemiology and social factors. However, the paper influenced by a myriad of biases – both consciously reasoned that situational information, an example of and subconsciously tweaking everything we do. the representative heuristic, bypassed more relevant The names Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman factors in the decision-making process. These findings may not be familiar to readers of the Journal of the were remarkably similar regardless of training status Royal Society of Medicine. When asked to name implying such a bias was more deeply rooted than medical pioneers – a modern day Osler, Jenner or mere experiential naivety. Blackwell – the names of two Israeli-American psych- Cognitive

Journal

Journal of the Royal Society of MedicineSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2018

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