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“I desire no other epitaph…than the statement that I taught medical students in the wards, as I regard this as by far the most useful and important work I have been called upon to do.” -- Sir William Osler ( 1 )Diagnostic reasoning is one of the most complex, analytical, and intuitive processes to develop in the medical profession. Even seasoned physicians spend a lot of time fine tuning this skill. Although charged with teaching others, some excellent diagnosticians find it difficult to explain in detail how they arrived at a diagnosis or a differential diagnosis. Some might even find themselves in a position in which they have to assess someone else’s diagnostic reasoning. This task is even more daunting since we are not all taught much about this process, even less how to teach it to others.
One method used to assess this process in medical students and junior physicians is by using the Socratic method , or in what’s known under medical slang “pimping.” Here are four links from the site Life In The Fast Lane where Dr. Chris Nickson ( @precordialthump ) does an excellent review of the topic of “pimping.”