Topoi 38 (2):437-446 (2019)

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Clinical diagnostic medicine is an experimental science based on observation, hypothesis making, and testing. It is an use dynamic process that involves observation and summary, diagnostic conjectures, testing, review, observation and summary, new or revised conjectures, i.e. it is an iterative process. It can then be said that diagnostic hypotheses are also ‘observation-laden’. My aim is to enlarge on the strategies of medical diagnosis as these are meshed in training and clinical experience—that is, to describe the patterns of reasoning used by experienced clinicians under different diagnostic circumstances and how these patterns of inquiry allow further insight into the evaluation and treatment of patients. I do not aim to present a theory and illustrate it with examples; I wish rather am to let a realistic example, similar to actual clinical scenarios, direct the exposition. To this end, I introduce an account of medical diagnosis—briefly comparing and contrasting it to other accounts—in order to focus on discussing the process of diagnosis through a detailed clinical case.
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-017-9516-2
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