How Doctors Think

How Doctors Think : Clinical judgment and the practice of medicine

3.67 (49 ratings by Goodreads)
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How Doctors Think defines the nature and importance of clinical judgement. Although physicians make use of science, this book argues that medicine is not itself a science but rather an interpretive practice that relies on clinical reasoning. A physician looks at the patient's history along with the presenting physical signs and symptoms and juxtaposes these with clinical experience and empirical studies to construct a tentative account of the illness. How Doctors Think is divided into four parts. Part One introduces the concept of medicine as a practice rather than a science; Part Two discusses the idea of causation; Part Three delves into the process of forming clinical judgement; and Part Four considers clinical judgement within the uncertain nature of medicine itself. How Doctors Think contends that there can be adverse side effects to assuming that medicine is strictly science, and suggests reducing these by recognizing the vital role of clinical judgement.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 112 x 178 x 22mm | 160g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 4 line illustrations
  • 0195187121
  • 9780195187120
  • 487,293

Review quote

Montgomery's book is a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion over the nature and role of clinical judgement in medical practice and is required reading for anyone interested in it. * Theor Med Bioethics *
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Table of contents

Introduction: rationality in an uncertain practice ; PART 1: MEDICINE AS A PRACTICE ; 1. Medicine and the limits of knowledge ; 2. The misdescription of medicine ; 3. Clinical judgement and the interpretation of case ; PART 2: CLINICAL JUDGEMENT AND THE IDEA OF CAUSE ; 4. "What brings you here today?": the idea of cause in medical practice ; 5. The simplification of clinical cause ; 6. Clinical judgement and the problem of particularizing ; PART 3: THE FORMATION OF CLINICAL JUDGEMENT ; 7. Aphorisms, maxims, and old saws: some rules of clinical reasoning ; 8. "Don't think zebras": a theory of clinical knowing ; 9. Knowing one's place: the evaluation of clinical judgement ; PART 4: CLINICAL JUDGEMENT AND THE NATURE OF MEDICINE ; 10. The self in medicine: the use and misuse of the science claim ; 11. A medicine of neighbours ; 12. Uncertainty and the ethics of practice
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Rating details

49 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 24% (12)
4 43% (21)
3 16% (8)
2 8% (4)
1 8% (4)
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