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Bias and Heuristics

These are must reads for any clinician in any setting with any level of experience. Heuristics are essentially "rule of thumb" strategies. We use the to sift through the abundance of information we receive at any given moment. In clinical practice, our bias and intuition frequently take over, often without our knowledge.

Understanding biases and the way we think is essential for excelling in any field, particularly ones involving patient treatment. Our biases influence the literature we read, the conversations we have, the information we seek, and the education we provide patients. They dictate whether we update our clinical practice and how we do it. We cannot eliminate bias, but we can recognize it. Through critical thinking, we can assess and make informed decisions.

 

 

Without a firm foundation in critical thinking and knowledge translation, we will fail to successfully apply the clinical knowledge we gather throughout our career. By no means is this a comprehensive list of biases and heuristics, but it is a foundation to build upon.

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