We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Viewpoint |

Cognitive Biases in Clinical Decision Making A Primer for the Practicing Dermatologist

Jeffrey M. Cohen, MD1; Susan Burgin, MD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
2Department of Dermatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(3):253-254. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.3395.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


This Viewpoint discusses cognitive biases in medical decision making, which can lead to incorrect diagnoses or suboptimal clinical management.

Physicians are constantly called on to collate and analyze relevant information in the care of patients, the process of which will affect the accuracy of their clinical reasoning and decision making. In making their decisions, physicians often turn to heuristics. These are mental shortcuts that physicians develop over time by recognizing patterns of disease.13 Heuristics allow complex decisions to be made quickly and generally serve well in processing and integrating large amounts of information by focusing attention on salient points.1,4 Dermatologists are commonly presented with opportunities to use heuristics because rapid-fire, complex decision making is often the norm in a busy practice.

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
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.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles

Care at the Close of Life: Evidence and Experience
What Is the Diagnosis?

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis