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Editorial |

How (Should) Physicians Think?  A Journey From Behavioral Economics to the Bedside

Stephen G. Pauker, MD; John B. Wong, MD
JAMA. 2010;304(11):1233-1235. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1336.
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Following the path forged a half century ago by psychologist Ward Edwards1 and economists John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern,2 academicians have proffered descriptive observations and prescriptive theories concerning decision making under uncertainty.3,4 Edwards and his intellectual progeny spawned the field of behavioral decision theory, which identified cognitive limitations and foibles described today, even in the lay literature.5,6 Led by Edwards' disciples Ledley and Lusted7 and later by Elstein8 and Kassirer et al,9 psychologists, decision theorists, and clinicians have explored and expounded on clinical reasoning by physicians, who are subject to all-too-human cognitive limitations and biases when formulating diagnostic hypotheses and making therapeutic choices.



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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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