Thought Experiment #7:

What if you were a patient and you had a choice of medical diagnoses–an RD or a BD–which one would you choose?

(When an RD is a ‘RIGHT diagnosis’ and a BD is a ‘BETTER diagnosis’.)


Have a think. Make your choice between RD or BD. Say why you made your choice.

56 thoughts on “You choose: RIGHT diagnosis or BETTER diagnosis?

  1. Right is I have a headache take a pill – better would be why do I have a headache how am I feeling what am I doing a broader conversation with an opportunity for a better understanding

  2. OK – it all depends what is meant by right.

    For me right means a diagnosis which accurately identifies the condition and best available treatment.

    However, “right”is static and as understanding and treatments improve better diagnoses might become available and so become the new “right”.

    However, as a patient, I may not want “better” until and unless proven and accepted as the new standard.

    No unofficial guinea-pig diagnoses and treatment for me!

  3. A right diagnosis would probably identify what is wrong – but it may be partial , incomplete . A better diagnosis could identify what is wrong , contributing factors and a realistic way forward . Rightness cannot always be total and a cvs is never equal to a bvs. .

  4. I feel the answer will depend largely on how each person interprets the word “right”. Assuming that the “right diagnosis” means that the doctor has come to the correct conclusion BASED ON THE KNOWN FACTS, then I would be choosing the better diagnosis, which may require the doctor to further consider my situation and gain additional facts that they don’t currently have at hand.

    Furthermore, the “right diagnosis” almost implies that you have a single problem. A patient may have multiple problems and the “right diagnosis” may only require the doctor identifying the most dangerous of those problems. The better diagnosis may instead identify all problems with the patient, which then may lead the doctor to recommend a different course of treatment.

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