Ten Principles for More Conservative, Care-Full Diagnosis

Physicians must navigate a balance between under- and overdiagnosis, both of which may harm patients. The authors of this paper discuss core principles to help find this balance and foster a thoughtful, patient-centered, more conservative approach to diagnosis.

Use this paper to:

  • Consider what factors contribute to over- and underdiagnosis.
  • Why is each potentially harmful?
  • The authors emphasize that we need to accept uncertainty as part of the diagnostic and caring process. Why?
  • In what way do the authors say we “rethink symptoms”? Do you agree?
  • How might the approach advocated by the authors help to improve diagnostic approaches and patient care?

Annals of Internal Medicine is the premier internal medicine academic journal published by the American College of Physicians (ACP). It is one of the most widely cited and influential specialty medical journals in the world.

Back to the December 2018 issue of ACP IMpact