Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 59,
page(s) 132 College Library
“When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras.” This well-worn medical aphorism attributed to Dr Theodore E. Woodward addresses the clinician’s most essential skill—differential diagnosis. Drawing on all of a physician’s training, experience, and abilities—careful observation, interview skills, and evaluation of evidence—differential diagnosis is key to providing the best care to patients.
A busy clinician may find some welcome relief through the evidence-based decision support provided by Best Practice. The tool is available online through the College Library website (www.cpsbc.ca/library) or as an app for your tablet or smartphone.
Best Practice’s easy-to-read tabbed layout provides an overview of each disease module and allows the clinician to quickly select a subtopic of interest. Once in the module, select the Diagnosis tab and then the Differential Diagnosis link. The table is organized into common/uncommon diagnoses, and, within each category, from most to least frequently occurring conditions. The clear, well-organized layout allows physicians to view possible diagnoses at a glance and quickly prioritize the selection of any tests or treatments.
While nothing can replace the combination of a clinician’s experience and training, the differential diagnosis table in Best Practice can provide evidence-based support in a busy medical practice. For more information or assistance with downloading the app, please contact the College Library. We’re always happy to help!