Journal Article

Skepticism: A Lost Clinical Art

Mark J. DiNubile

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 31, issue 2, pages 513-518
Published in print August 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Skepticism: A Lost Clinical Art

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Under the contemporary avalanche of new biomedical discoveries, most physicians find themselves in a losing battle to keep up to date. An underappreciated but important consequence of this struggle has been an abdication of the traditional responsibility of clinicians to critically review novel findings. We appear as a group to prefer our data predigested. Understandably, but unfortunately, we have become too accepting of formal guidelines and trusting of expert advice. Imprecision in our thinking and misapplication of cutting edge technologies have resulted, often to the detriment of the individual patient and the society at large. This essay illustrates some specific examples that demonstrate how superficial knowledge and blind faith can promote suboptimal care and inappropriate use of resources. Reflexive approaches to problems erode the individuality of diagnostic and treatment plans. Accordingly, I challenge my colleagues to be more skeptical about the validity and utility of how they are directed to practice medicine.

Journal Article.  4443 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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