Categorise or die


You’ll probably hear this one a lot. It makes sense. There are an entire universe of conditions that can cause a lot of overlapping symptoms, so when the patient presents with one or two symptoms, it’s not massively helpful to list random conditions in the hope that one of them is right. Methodically working through what system is likely to be affected, what pathology might underlie the symptoms, and what from the history is likely to have set it off, will put you in very good stead, even if you don’t know the exact condition. Medical notes need a differential diagnosis of a few possible options anyway, and I was once told that some surgeons care more about how you classify than what you actually know…


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