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Saturday, January 21, 2012

With the goal of increasing expediency, Young et al., (1998), introduced the concept of "intuitive diagnosis," to dermatology, making it acceptable to bypass diagnostic criteria in many skin conditions.   Additionally, "pattern recognition" was also added to "intuitive diagnosis" in further upping expediency in dermatological diagnostics (JAMA, 2005).   On the other hand, it has been noted by some in psychiatry and cognitive science, that pattern recognition is a common major type of cognitive error that leads to misdiagnoses if the wrong pattern is selected as the model a physician (e.g., Crumlish & Kelly, 2009).  How much confidence should a patient have that a dermatologist is correct in a particular diagnosis?   

The result for MD patients seems to be is ever growing severity of the illness, and ever increasing multisystemic involvement over time.  Some patients have even resorted to suicide, after receiving no appropriate medical help for years (e.g., Leitao, 2006).  After all, where can one turn to have painful skin manifestations and lesions examined if dermatologists refuse to engage in their chosen area of medical specialization? 

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