The Mystery of the Man with Confusion and Back Pain (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 10)
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.
- “The Influence of the Availability Heuristic on Physicians in the Emergency Department,” by Dan P. Ly (Annals of Emergency Medicine, 2021).
- “Early Death After Discharge From Emergency Departments: Analysis of National U.S. Insurance Claims Data,” by Ziad Obermeyer, Brent Cohn, Michael Wilson, Anupam B. Jena, and David M. Cutler (BMJ, 2017).
- “Quality Chasm Series: Improving Diagnosis in Health Care,” by John R. Ball, Elisabeth Belmont, Robert A. Berenson, Pascale Carayon, Christine K. Cassel, Carolyn M. Clancy, Michael B. Cohen, Patrick Croskerry, Thomas H. Gallagher, Christine A. Goeschel, Mark L. Graber, Hedvig Hricak, Anupam B. Jena, Ashish K. Jha, Michael Laposata, Kathryn McDonald, Elizabeth A. McGlynn, Michelle Rogers, Urmimala Sarkar, George E. Thibault, and John B. Wong (The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, 2015).
- “How to Solve a Medical Mystery (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 5),” by Freakonomics, M.D. (2021).