Medical disciplinary boards on gut feelings of patients

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

Dutch medical disciplinary boards consider physicians’ gut feelings an element of the professional standards. Some indications can be found in the international literature suggesting intuitive feelings of unease of patients or their relatives can also contribute to adequate diagnostics. What is the view of disciplinary boards on this? A search in the disciplinary boards’ database (2010-2017) found 55 rulings where the search term ‘ongerust’ (worried) was related to a patient, family member or partner and 51 rulings where the term ‘bezorgd’ (concerned) was related to a patient, family member or partner. The disciplinary boards expect that doctors are prepared to discuss worry and concern with their patients. Additionally, they consider patients’ worry and concern to be a useful part of the doctors’ diagnostics, which may possibly result in reviewing the diagnosis. This is consistent with the international literature.

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Ulrike Schuck, Margje van de Wiel, Geert Jan Dinant, Erik Stolper