The Mystery of the Man with Confusion and Back Pain (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 10)

Listen now:

Hear diagnostician Gurpreet Dhaliwal try to solve the case of a patient who came to the emergency room with an unusual combination of symptoms. Plus, we discuss how difficult it is to separate the signal from the noise when treating patients, and how cognitive biases factor into doctors’ decision-making.

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Relevant Research & References

Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:


  • Gurpreet Dhaliwal, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
  • Sharmin Shekarchian, assistant professor affiliated with Stanford University and president of The Clinical Problem Solvers.