Research Article| Volume 4, ISSUE 1, P25-39, March 1984

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Can Physicians Be Rational About Diagnostic Tests?

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      Concerns about diagnostic test utilization have led to interest in the role of tests in clinical decision-making, and researchers have developed guidelines for interpreting the results of diagnostic tests using Bayesian probability revision and decision analysis. Although it acknowledges the importance of these quantitative models in medical education, this article identifies major obstacles that limit their application, demonstrating that “rational’’ decision-making may not be rational or optimal in clinical practice.
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