Send to

Choose Destination
Diagnosis (Berl). 2014 Jan 1;1(1):49-51. doi: 10.1515/dx-2013-0006.

Let patients help with diagnosis.

Author information

1P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717, USA.
2Division of Pharmacy Practice, Experiential Education in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


Diagnostic errors are common and have seemed intractable for decades. Although time pressure is often cited as a contributor to this problem, overconfidence on the part of the diagnostician may also play a role. Successful strategies for reducing error in the diagnostic process should include patients and families in innovative ways. Changing the existing paradigm of patients responding passively to one of patients participating actively has the potential to assist in achieving greater diagnostic accuracy. Providers should welcome patients' online research into their symptoms, succinct summaries of their course of illness and questions about the differential diagnoses that might be applicable. Systematic methods for following up after the initial diagnosis are essential for verifying accuracy as well as providing excellent patient care.


diagnostic error; e-patients; participatory medicine


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Sheridan PubFactory
Loading ...
Support Center