Monday, December 01, 2008

Wrong Diagnosis

How do you come to a conclusion?

You add up the facts, the empirical data, the relevant experience, and using your past knowledge and pre-existing biases, you come to the answer that provides the best fit to reflect the information at your disposal.

But what if the conclusion reached seemingly contradicts your data?

I watch a lot of the TV show House, MD. Almost every episode follows the same formula: Patient comes in exhibiting an array of symptoms, Dr. House and his team break down all possible solutions that could provide a match to those symptoms, and systematically start checking off the possibilities until only one is left. However, if you've ever seen the show, you're aware that usually they manage to exhaust all of their options and end up coming up with a solution that the first 50 minutes of the episode never even provided to the viewer.

This has always been my biggest pet peeve of the show. You certainly wouldn't want to take your child/mother/father/wife/husband to a doctor who spent several days treating the wrong ailment and giving him/her the wrong medicine, regardless of how brilliant a reputation they may have.

So what do you do when you receive a diagnosis you think is wrong? Do you just take the prescription provided, and hope that maybe the doctor was right? Do you seek alternate counsel?

I think I'm looking for a second opinion...