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Semin Med Pract 
2001 Mar;4(1):19-26
Understanding and applying common clinical reasoning strategies
Ansell DA, Hiremath P

Physicians come to the clinical encounter with a store of medical knowledge, which may or may not be adequate to address the case at hand. Even if a patient presents with a common condition, there is still a degree of uncertainty in clinical decision making. The application of probability analysis and clinical reasoning strategies can help physicians manage such uncertainty. The authors examine the practical value and limitations of strategies commonly used for making diagnoses, and describe the use of probability analysis in establishing a diagnosis and setting clinical decision making thresholds. This article is the first of a series of tutorials on basic skills needed for evidence-based, cost-effective clinical decision making.

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