Jerome Groopman’s bestselling book ‘How Doctors Think’ is about exactly what it means and a bit more, which is how patients can facilitate doctors to think.
Doctors are human and are prone to make mistakes. Most of the diagnostic errors result from cognitive / thinking errors rather than technical errors who work under time pressures. Will it be possible for doctors working under such time pressures to think about how they think?
There are three cardinal cognitive pitfalls – anchoring, attributing and availability errors.
Anchoring is seizing the main presenting symptom and making a snap judgment of a diagnosis.
Attributing is the stereotyping a patient that fits into previously known personality e.g. frequent complainer and hypochondriac so that attributing the symptoms to a benign condition.
Availability error is that since most recent patients with similar symptoms had no serious issues and I have a readily available diagnosis that can be given.