Empathetic Medicine: K. Fitz Duffy

Medical Diagnostics


The role of medical diagnostics is to evaluate the presence of symptoms. We define health by the absence of symptoms. But, we all have symptoms, varied in complexity and function.

Where does illness begin? Where does it end?

We know the diagnostic practice is a complex thought process that includes logical reasoning and pattern recognition. It begins with a list of probabilities and ends with a choice. Treatment is both symptomatic and subjective. Usually, effective treatment involves both ethics and medical knowledge.

“The young doctor, like the senior scholar, prefers research to humanity”

The standard medical check-up consists of rudimentary tests and measurements to record our progress. We find satisfaction in our own physical progress. We even recognize the development of a country by life expectancy and other benchmarks of physical health. Health is an indicator of progress. Illness is an impairment of normal bodily function affecting all or part of us. Disease is similar, but we usually recognize disease only when it is accepted across cultures.

We should remember that medicine functions in a hierarchal structure that permits only evidence-based, scientific facts.

Copright © 2013