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System 3 diagnostic process: the lateral approach

Authors Shimizu T, Tokuda Y

Received 9 August 2012

Accepted for publication 18 September 2012

Published 17 October 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 873—874


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Taro Shimizu,1 Yasuharu Tokuda2

1Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA; 2Institute of Clinical Medicine, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

Abstract: The process of obtaining diagnosis is described as a dual-process model, including the intuitive process, and the analytical process. The similarity between the two systems is that they both infer a diagnosis from patient-derived information. Here we present another process by which to elicit the diagnosis: asking direct questions of the patient themselves, such as “What do you think is the cause?” or “What do you suspect is wrong?” This simple method would enable us to elicit pivotal information for diagnosis. Asking patients direct questions allows them to think about the cause of their own problem and suggest their own diagnosis. This method of reasoning is completely different from the two above-mentioned systems and may represent a third approach. We highlight this third process as an important strategy, thereby using this third effective method of inquiry to facilitate quick and effective diagnosis in conjunction with former two systems.

Keywords: diagnosis, diagnostic process, clinical problem solving, dual-process model, clinical reasoning

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