You’re new patient presents. You listen to their history starting to formulate your diagnosis and plan.

You perform an examination, ask more questions.

As this stage you need to come up with a diagnosis…or do you?

In this article I talk about how to be certain when you’re uncertain.

Whether you are primary health care or otherwise, you’re initial job is to decide on a ‘working diagnosis’ NOT an absolute definitive diagnosis.

This means starting a ‘work in progress’ diagnostic plan, which essentially is an educated guess based on information at hand.

Now in other blogs, I have talked about the importance of instilling a vote of confidence within the first 12 seconds of meeting a new patient. This sets the stage for the rest of the initial consultation.

This means being confident, unassailable, unembarrassable and unwavering even when you are not certain of the diagnosis and/or treatment plan.

You’re patient needs to know that you are absolutely certain what you know and what you don’t know and what you’re plan is moving forwards. That’s it.

You’re working diagnosis can be simply a description of what you know and is subject to evolution and change as more information comes to hand. This is perfectly acceptable both legally, medically and ethically.

Look out for my “How to formulate a working diagnosis” blog.

Be certain always, even when you’re not.

About the author:

Dr. Andrew Arnold (Chiropractor) is a Chiropractic Doctor, and Owner, Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre. He is also a Wellness Leader Mentor working with the Wellness Leadership Revolution and running his own program, the Million Dollar Wellness Practice. Andrew shares this ownership with his wife, Dr. Linda Wilson.

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