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Evidence-Based Practice and Medical Education

Types of Questions

Types of Questions

Clinical findings: how to properly gather and interpret findings from the history and physical examination.

Etiology: how to identify causes for disease (including its iatrogenic forms).

Clinical manifestations of disease: knowing how often and when a disease causes its clinical manifestations and how to use this knowledge in classifying our patients’ illnesses.

Differential diagnosis: when considering the possible causes of our patient’s clinical problem, how to select those that are likely, serious and responsive to treatment.

Diagnostic tests: how to select and interpret diagnostic tests, in order to confirm or exclude a diagnosis, based on considering their precision, accuracy, acceptability, expense, safety, etc.

Prognosis: how to estimate our patient’s likely clinical course over time and anticipate likely complications of the disorder.

Therapy: how to select treatments to offer our patients that do more good than harm and that are worth the efforts and costs of using them.

Prevention: how to reduce the chance of disease by identifying and modifying risk factors and how to diagnose disease early by screening.

Experience and meaning: (for qualitative research) how to empathize with our patients’ situations, appreciate the meaning they find in the experience and understand how this meaning influences their healing.

Self-improvement: how to keep up to date, improve my clinical and other skills and run a better, more efficient clinical practice.