The approach to a diagnostic dilemma

Daniel Lichtstein, Gauri Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diagnostic dilemmas refer to situations in which physicians face a challenging clinical scenario. The goal of our paper is to outline strategies which we have found to be most helpful in the approach to a diagnostic dilemma. We review each strategy and provide illustrative clinical examples. Among the most helpful strategies are performing a thorough history and physical examination (H&P) (including pertinent epidemiological factors and careful medication review), avoidance of non-specific testing and empiric treatment, judicious use of consultants, maintaining an open-mind and humility and ongoing, open communication with your patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 25 2018


  • diagnostic dilemma
  • diagnostic error
  • diagnostic strategies
  • history and physical examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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