How to best prepare for differential diagnosis with SM?

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How to formulate elements for learning differential diagnosis?

In differential diagnosis the physician has to think of the possible causes of a symptom or a group of symptoms. What is the best strategy to prepare for this task? How to formulate elements?

The stimulus coming from the reality is the symptom, and the answer is a list (often very long) of diseases. This would be translated in SM in many elements for remembering a long list, that is very resource-consuming as explained in the 20 rules for fomulating knowledge. Moreover it's not a good preparation either, because the list would need to be learned in order, and it might be hard to meticulously recall the complete list from the beginning in front of the symptom (two much processing time).

It looks to me there is not a direct way to train this skill with supermemo. How to formulate the knowledge for this goal then?


This is just some theorizing by a non-physician. Stay skeptical, and keep learning.

Difficult subjects, like medical diagnosis, should best be tackled by the users by trial and error. You need to come up with some approaches and see what works and how your procedure might be improved. You will rather not work with anything like: Q: symptom A: list of diseases. This approach might be good for writing an expert system, but this is not how the human brain works. As a doctor you will most likely learn a set of details about a given disease, and then train your brain to associate symptoms with that disease. The training will not be based on SuperMemo. For example, when you see your first patient with a given symptom, you may come up blank. You will need to consult literature, do some googling, ask an older colleague, or rack your brain for details learned previously. With each successive patient, you will build your unspoken/implicit expert rules and come up with a diagnosis much faster. For rarely occurring diseases, you may actually come with misdiagnosis. You will probably not find a good expert that relies on his or her brain solely. A good list of diseases associated with a puzzling symptom should probably always be handy.

In that light, you should explore neural creativity for tackling most difficult cases (less for learning, more for problem solving with learning on the way).

In short: (1) work by trail and error, (2) don't hope to master all symptoms and diseases and the associations, (3) never stop learning and critically reviewing your procedures.