What Doctors Must Know about Medical Practice

Bernard Gert, Charles M. Culver and K. Danner Clouser

in Bioethics

Second edition

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780195159066
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786466 | DOI:
  What Doctors Must Know about Medical Practice

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This chapter shows the importance of recognizing the probabilistic nature of medical diagnosis and treatment. It discusses the possibly serious effects of physicians not understanding Bayes theorem, and hence, not appreciating the importance of knowing the prevalence of a disorder in the population to be treated or screened. It shows the importance of doctors knowing about volume-outcome studies, geographical variation studies, and practice guidelines.

Keywords: probability; Bayes theorem; screening treating; number needed to be treated (NNT); number needed to screen (NNS); uncertainty; volume-outcome; geographical variation; practice guidelines

Chapter.  10838 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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