Diagnostic Errors and the Bedside Clinical Examination

Bennett W. Clark, Arsalan Derakhshan, Sanjay V. Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Diagnostic errors are common in clinical practice and lead to adverse patient outcomes. Systematic reviews have shown that inadequate history taking and physical examination lead to a plurality, if not a majority, of diagnostic errors. Recent advances in cognitive science have also shown that unconscious biases likely contribute to many diagnostic errors. Research into diagnostic error has been hampered by methodologic inconsistency and a paucity of studies in real-world clinical settings. The best evidence indicates that educational interventions to reduce diagnostic error should give physicians feedback about clinical outcomes and enhance their ability to recognize signs and symptoms of specific diseases at the bedside.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-464
Number of pages12
JournalMedical Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • Clinical decision-making
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Diagnostic error
  • Dual-processing theory
  • Heuristics and biases
  • Medical education


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnostic Errors and the Bedside Clinical Examination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this