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Title: A defence of clinical judgment
Author: Ashworth, B.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2001
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Clinical consultation begins when a patient seeks help from a doctor. The doctor is called upon to advise and this advice is based on judgments in the areas of diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. The logic of diagnosis is discussed and the importance of probability emphasised. Theories of knowledge, interpretation, and the use of models are reviewed. Judgment analysis is noted as a developing area and mistakes in clinical practice are discussed. Mention of treatment includes orthodox therapy, complementary methods, and factors contributing to quality of life. Prognosis is considered in relation to some common conditions and the impact of chaos theory. Clinical judgment is concerned with prudence and knowledge sufficient for action. The ability to make an appropriate judgment from imperfect materials is of crucial importance in medical consultation. It requires a capacity to take account of all relevant factors bearing on the case and apportioning due weight to each. Good clinical judgment is closely linked to wisdom. This thesis considers the meaning of normal in the setting of health, examines the relationship between traditional medical practice, models and computer methods, and assesses whether the capacity for clinical judgment can be improved by teaching and experience. It explores the new methods and the extent to which they can supplement or replace established practices. It is concluded that clinical judgment based on extensive knowledge and appreciation of the circumstances of the individual is a continuing need which cannot be replaced by an artificial system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available