Letters

Why clinicians are natural bayesians: Is there a bayesian doctor in the house?

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7504.1390-b (Published 09 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1390
  1. Roger N Chitty, consultant psychiatrist (joanne.harding@cwpnt.nhs.uk)
  1. Cherrybank Resource Centre, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 0BY

    EDITOR—According to Gill et al, clinicians are natural bayesians.1 Their reasoning about patients is intuitive, probabilistic, and reiterative. Such subjective, context dependent reasoning is integral to clinical judgment and useful when diagnosing rare diseases.

    In the same issue, the fictional Dr House is described.2 He, too, must be bayesian. He solves rare cases intuitively through flashes of grim …

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