Explaining What to Expect: Beliefs and Routines
Once a diagnosis has been made, GPs are faced with further uncertainties, both clinically and personally. Chapter 1 described the variability of the prognosis of the illness in any one patient and the difficulties of predicting its course with any accuracy. However, doctors do know the parameters of the disease, from the best to the worst case, knowledge which few patients are likely to possess at the outset. As Davis (1963, p. 49) has pointed out: ‘The possibility of important uncertainty factors … is not the same thing as total ignorance of the probabilities.’
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