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How to Improve Clinical Decision Making




After two years of work and many rewrites, I finally published my paper on clinical decision-making. The paper integrates many of the decision-making theories and principles developed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky with the clinical decision-making strategies developed by Gerd Gigerenzer and Pat Croskerry. While those great minds have taught us much about decision-making, heuristics, and bias, those topics have barely been explored in PT.


In this perspective, I discuss the use of heuristics and bias in physical therapy practice. Here are the highlights I put together for the journal:

  • Intuition and heuristics guide clinical decision-making in physical therapy.

  • System 2 thinking and executive override are vital for novice clinicians.

  • Busy clinical environments, sleep deprivation, and fatigue impairs decision-making.

  • Experts can rely more on intuition and less on clinical information than novices.

  • External perspectives from mentors and colleagues can help reduce personal bias.

The original version dives deep into rationality but I had to cut content for the final version. If you are interested in the original draft or are unable to find a full-text copy of the published perspective, send me an email.

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