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Test/don't test?
  1. Bob Phillips
  1. Evidence-based On Call, Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, University Dept of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Headington OX3 7JX, UK; bob.phillips@doctors.org.uk

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It’s been the misfortune of every living doctor, and those no longer with us, to pick up the result of a test they’ve ordered and wish they’d never signed the request in the first place. The test result is there, you understand what it means (technically), but also struggle with what it means (practically) to the patient before you. There are psychic echoes of radiology consultations, “and how with this x ray result change your management?”, and you wish you’d internally digested what was being said.

In diagnostic testing, we hope to reach a state where we are adequately convinced of the presence or absence of a …

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  • Edited by Bob Phillips