June 14, 2021


Daily Global New Media

Why Doctors Make Mistakes (Medical Bias Part 2)

1 min read

Brilliant sponsored both parts 1&2 of these bias-focused videos. I learnt loads from their modules on probability, statistics and chance – it’s rare that a sponsor …


44 thoughts on “Why Doctors Make Mistakes (Medical Bias Part 2)

  1. I was stereotyped, and it just about killed me. In 2002, I went to the ER with crushing chest pain. While the doctor was giving me an EKG he laughingly said, "How many 33 year old women do you know who have had heart attacks?" (I didn't know how to respond to this horribly crass comment.) He ruled out a heart attack and sent me home without making any attempt to find the source of my chest pain. But, he did give me Dilaudid for the pain!

    Still in intense pain, I went back to the ER the next day and said, "I'm not leaving here until you find out what's wrong with me." So, they did a chest CT scan with contrast.

    The next thing I know, a team of doctors and nurses came rushing into my room telling me I had Mediastinitis, an infection around my heart. They started asking me if I "worked for the postal service" or if I had "handled any white powdery substances." Because this was 2002, the height of the anthrax mailings, they literally thought I had anthrax poisoning!

    I was immediately transported to the main hospital in an ambulance. I had to stay in the ICU for several days on high doses of antibiotics (which turned my skin purple for some reason). The ICU doctor informed me that Mediastinitis had a 70% mortality rate! Thankfully, I made a full recovery and it didn't leave me with any heart damage. However, no one was ever able to tell me how I developed Mediastinitis.

    To this day, I cannot believe the way that ER doctor treated me. I don't know if it was because of my age or gender, or if he was just a bad doctor. But I do know that if I hadn't been my own advocate and insisted on an answer, I could have died.

  2. Maybe this is a silly question, but I'd appreciate it if someone could help me understand this. It's a genuine question, so please be kind. How does one distinguish biases from the usual process of making decisions and learning from past mistakes? As in, how does one diagnose while excluding these biases when a lot of them seem like valid possibilities that contribute to making the diagnosis? Or what is the diagnosis based on exactly when one interprets the symptoms and history of the patient, if not on past mistakes, or changing one's diagnosis based on test results (automation bias), or considering a disease one just read about, or things like familiarity bias, or the semmelweiz bias? Aren't all of these usually necessary to consider in making a diagnosis and at what point are they considered bias? Undue importance, yes, but how does one discern that one is giving too much importance vs when it really deserves that much importance? Practice?

  3. That’s right “Doctor”, you should do your own medical research rather than standing on shoulders of giants or depending on the medical books others have written. Intellectual larceny is the only way so many develop “their understanding “ If doctors are so smart, how come they have to go to “school “ for so long? Ever ponder that fact?

  4. I live in New Zealand and didn't even know it was legal to market directly to patients as I've never seen it. I thought it was only in USA as when I went there every 3rd advert on the TV was about some drug or another.

  5. I have unexplained hearing loss. When my ENT investigated, I was tested for a very rare condition called neurofibromatosis. This causes tumours and initially presents with hearing loss. It kills you by age 65 usually.

    I don't have neurofibromatosis, but it was a good idea to screen for it. I present with similar symptoms and if missed, I could have been very seriously unwell and untreated.

  6. 14:30 please dont use the "bad apples" quote, a great example of the "random quotes are cool" bias. Because the full phrase is "a few bad apples spoil the bunch", obviously the opposite of what you wanted to say.

  7. I went to the ER once thinking I was having a stroke at 25

    Turns out I was just really high from too much coffee and weed and really tired from working a 12 hour shift

    But the doctors at the ER took me very seriously despite obviously smelling like weed and probably just being paranoid from being too high

    They gave me all the tests to see if I had any signs of a stroke, including putting me in a scanning machine to be absolutely sure I was okay.

    I bet they got some great scans of what too much THC and caffeine do to the brain lmao

  8. Poor Timmy he is doomed! How in the hell do you acquire reliable data and perform
    a competent analysis when plagued with dozens of bias issues? Thank god I went
    with engineering we kill far fewer people.

  9. Erm, Timmy ? Did Timmy make it ? Was his diagnosis/treatment sucessful ?
    The comments section is losing focus here.
    Blatant case of anti pilos habentium imaginaria bias

  10. I am blessed. My Dr. Is so cheap, when I asked him my blood type, he said WE never did that test and the hospital does not have the information any longer. He told me to go give blood and ask for a copy of everything. It will save me around $7500.00 and I could save a life. I had forgotten that they test everything, especially covid19 (that they know about), when someone gives blood. He just told me that about August 2020, so the price of $7500. Is how much a simple blood scan costs now days. Brother James

  11. If I can't figure it out, I will call my Dr. of 42 years. ( MDVIP, So, I only get "HIM",,, 24/7/365, 'he' will see me, 'within' 24 hours, Or send me to "The hospital" cost $70.00 ) So, I am spending money and time, and my Dr.s time. The last thing I am going to do is interrupt him while we talk after the exam. If I did not know what I have, then he has to tell me what he thinks is wrong. I need to listen. So, if you buy a book…READ IT!!! If you go to the Dr. Listen to him!!! And then, if all goes well go get a pizza and call your old lady!!! And don't ever forget to thank your Dr!!! Brother James Kendall Moore OSB OFS OSC.

  12. Not enough pain, in the wrong spot for the Pancreas, no vomiting mentioned, and Dr. Shadetree has not tried to do any tummy rolls!!! He is about to 🦆🤠 hick… quack…Ok!!! He is a duck… please don't sue me,,, this is for educational purposes only.🤓🧐🥸 Brother James Kendall Moore OSB OFS OSC.

  13. I imagine most if not all of those apply equally to any diagnostic style role, I've definitely seen / done most of those working in IT. Love that Dunning-Kruger effect is an actual recognised thing, I've remarked about that effect to collagues in the past in relation to new IT staff (and did it myself earlier in my career!), where they learn enough to think "I know ALL about IT!" after a year or two, then given more time they come to realise quite how vast a subject it is and how little of it they actually know themselves.

  14. I hate to correct you, however, I'm sure you are the type of person who actually won't mind. It revolves around using the terminology "strong and weak antibiotics." As we both know when we empirically choose an antibiotic, the two greatest factors are spectrum of activity and ability for the drug to reach effective concentrations in the target tissue (e.g. amoxicillin/clavulanic acid for bite wounds). Using the term "strong" when referring to a particular antibiotic undervalues the thought process involved in choosing an appropriate antibiotic and, in the vein of this video, can lead to an "antibiotic selection bias." A problem I see in both the veterinary and human medical professions. Antibiotic resistance would be a great topic for you to cover as that problem is having a dramatic effect in patient outcome in both of our professions. I really enjoy your work, keep it up, it is most appreciated!

  15. Unlike an engineer, doctors bury their mistakes. Laws protect them from ever admitting to a mistake. Mistakes by doctors usually affect just one person at a time. Engineering mistakes can cause catastrophic harm to many people, structures or assemblies are are nearly impossible to hide.
    The culture of excellence within engineering is completely absent in medicine.

  16. This reminds me of a diagnosis my daughter got just before she turned 30. She had a patch on her forearm that started as tiny little pin pricks (nerves in the skin fired off first), erupted as tiny little blisters in a circle about an inch in diameter. They grew bigger and merged into one large blister and hurt like the dickens. She went to the doctor and he looked at it and when "hmmm." She said, "Hmmm? No, you are supposed to say AHA!" He had to go to his computer to look up what he thought it might be, but wasn't sure. Turns out it was bollous pemphigoid. It is a rare skin condition and usually only shows up in the elderly. She is very young to have it show up. It is malfunction of the immune system and can be triggered by certain medication. She had at least 5 episodes – forearm, upper thigh and armpit over a 2 year period. There is no specific thing that sets it off, but we have read some suggestions from others sufferers. One was antibiotics and/or ibuprofen. She has avoided ibuprofen since the last flare up over 5 years ago, so that seems to be her trigger. She has had antibiotics since then, but never ibuprofen. I told she should feel special getting some rare about 50 years before she should. She just gave me the stink eye.

  17. I had a VA doctor tell me I didn't have a hernia while my guts where trying to poke out of my chest and I pointed to the alien trying to escape and he responds the MRI did not show a hernia and sent me on my way

  18. When your Doctor says you have PCOS(developed cystic acne, hair growth, head hair loss, no menstrual cycle randomly at age 21)…so you live the next 6 years thinking that
    …..turns out I had an adrenal tumor that was secreting mad amounts of testosterone and some cortisol….what fun times in my 20's….

  19. CAN YOU PLS TELL US WHERE YOU GOT THAT IMAGE OF THE MAMA DUCK i'm sorry for yelling but i've been looking for this childrens book for forever and dont remember what its called 😭

  20. Another form of confirmation bias is using leading questions while interviewing patients. For example – Do you have a butterfly rash on your face that gets worse with sunlight (because the doctor is thinking about lupus) instead of asking open-ended questions like do you experience rashes?

  21. I was about to say the video was brillant. Then I remember watching the first part and being sponsored by Brilliant, so I'll say the video was amazing. Btw, also doc here, and am doing my masters in this area, that's a really cool field

  22. You can directly advertise all sorts of pills in Russia. Pain medication, sad tummy pills, boner aids, you name it! Advertising pseudoscience bullshit is also quite legal.

  23. A very good video, but it doesn't cover "Why doctors make mistakes?". A proper episode will rather contain case studies and statistics obtained from them to answer this question. But that's OK, this is a "Ducks like a Quack" video. Yet I'll wait for such an episode.

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