What makes diagnosis hard?

Robert L. Wears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This essay uses a case study to explore some of the reasons why understanding failures associated with diagnosis seems to have lagged behind the attention and understanding directed at failures in other aspects of healthcare (e.g., wrong patient/procedure, medication misadministration, etc). The goal is not to pose an alternative to many of the current ideas about problems in diagnosis, but rather to enrich the discussions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number1 SUPPL
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Hindsight bias
  • Joint cognitive systems
  • Mis-diagnosis
  • Patient safety
  • Sense-making


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