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ARTICLE |

The Science of "Pattern Recognition"

Robert E. Bolinger, MD; Paul Ahlers, MD
JAMA. 1975;233(12):1289-1290. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260120051020.
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AN UNDERSTANDING of the process of clinical decision is essential to the formulation of applications of the computer to clinical medicine. Although the computer has proved its worth in some clinical situations, results have been disappointing with more pervasive involvement of automation. Of the various health care personnel, the role and function of the clinician is least defined. The public clamor for an accounting of his activities has led to a concentration on attempted quantification of these activities in terms of visible diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that often bear scant relation to professional standards of quality of care.

The unique task of the clinician is primarily a goal-directed intellectual process involving decision-making leading to courses of action. This function of the clinician defies easy mensuration and is often summarily dismissed as an art, some form of intuition, mysticism, or even charlatanism. Some degree of formalization of this process is attainable,

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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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