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Clinical Knowledge Versus Clinical Judgment

Read Seth Godin’s most recent post, The Amateur Scientist. In a way that only Seth can do he tells how our culture has turned us all into authorities. Important stuff.

I couldn’t help but think how this applies to the Internet and our health. Unrestrained access to information has got us all thinking we know more than we do.  Godin wasn’t writing about the amateur physician but he might as well have been.

Missing from the black bag of the amateur physician is a tool called clinical judgment – the pivotal substrate necessary to tie together objective clinical information. Clinical judgment is the foundation of good medical decision-making. But you won’t find it on the Internet. It can’t be found in the cloud or the hive. It isn’t free and it’s tough to get.

When it comes to social health there’s remarkably little talk of clinical judgment. It’s an unwelcomed concept. It’s the fly in the jelly of those who dream of using the infosphere to independently map their medical destiny from their laptop.

Sure the cloud may offer us a map. But for anyone who’s been there, the judgment of an experienced Sherpa is priceless.

But I digress…

Check out Seth’s Blog. He’s one of the few original thinkers in a world that seems to value reverberation. I’ve been reading him for years now and his wisdom transcends so many professions. He has a lot to teach physicians … and amateur physicians


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