Medical Reasoning and Decision-Making

  • Patrice Degoulet
  • Marius Fieschi
Part of the Health Informatics Series book series (HI)


Decision-making is the physician’s essential activity. In theory, making a decision involves creating a list of possible strategies and/or actions, determining the consequences of each decision, and selecting the most appropriate solution for the context. But things rarely happen this way in medicine. Basic medical information is often imperfect, subjective, or unspecific. There are too many possible hypotheses to consider each one individually. Only fragmentary knowledge of the consequences of each decision is available, and the foreseeable effects of treatment can only be guessed at. Medical decisions are made under uncertainty. They present a judgment that is generally a preference for a solution or a treatment that has been deemed optimal. The objective of the medical process is to reduce uncertainty by acquiring complementary information through the use of diverse and complex knowledge.


Production Rule Inductive Reasoning Baseline Risk Medical Reasoning Deductive Reasoning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrice Degoulet
    • 1
  • Marius Fieschi
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculté de Médecine, Broussais Hôtel-DieuUniversité Pierre et Marie CurieParisFrance
  2. 2.Faculté de MédecineUniversité d’Aix-Marseille IIMarseilleFrance

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