“Clues” for Doctors

Explaining “Clues” to a police detective seems rather useless since a detective uses clues and deductive reasoning to perform their job, so they would probably already have a clear grasp of the information in “Clues”. Rather I would like to describe it to a professor of medicine. Although doctors use intuition and deductive reasoning almost everyday, it may not be as clear to them as it is to detectives.

So consider this doctor, a patient walks into the hospital saying that he feels sick. What would be the first thing that you would do? Well obviously you would look him over and see if there are any clear problems occurring on the outside of the person’s body, such as a runny nose, pale skin, or shaking of the limbs. These are all considered clues and what you doing is using your intuition to identify the problem with this patient. Your next step may be to ask the patient about other symptoms that he may have encountered, such as diarrhea or headaches (two rather unpleasant symptoms). Once again doctor, you are drawing clues about your patient in order to solve this “mystery”. Based on your findings, you are able to diagnose the victim (patient). You are not only able to describe the issue with your patient, but also the future (how long the illness will last) and ways to cure the illness. All of your findings and conclusion are based on certain “clues” which you have interpreted.

Although you may think of clues only in the way that a detective is solving a crime, clues actually help everyday people interpret their surroundings. For instance, my friend had a problem this weekend that was solved by the interpretation of clues and deductive reasoning. The problem was how did my friend end up passed out on the floor of my dorm and where the hell is his phone and wallet. I am sure that problems like this occur quite frequently among college students. After a long and unsuccessful search of his dorm room, my friend felt defeated, so I decided to help him using what I learned in “Clues”. My first question that I asked my friend was what do you remember from last night. His answer consisted of a lot drinking and multiple unintelligent decisions. His night started in his friends dorm room, much like how most weekend nights start. At this point he remembers carrying his wallet and phone in his pocket. Although after this point in the story, he recalls the night as being rather blurry, with seemingly random events taking place. One of which is him climbing out of the pool at a frat party. Upon hearing this event, I began to start adding up the clues. He had his phone in his pocket before going to the frat party, so it is most likely not in his friends dorm. If he was going to jump into a pool, he probably wouldn’t have wanted to have his phone and wallet still in his pockets. So most likely he took out his phone and wallet from his pockets and either handed it to a friend or left it on the ground somewhere. When I told him this he brightened up. So we decided to head back to the frat house to inspect the crime scene (actually the most plausible place where his stuff would be). Low and behold, both his phone and wallet were stashed in a bush beside the pool. The mystery was solved, except for the problem of how he ended up passed out on the floor of his dorm. This I concluded was most likely the cause of heavy drinking (although I wasn’t sure why he chose the floor instead of his bed).

So as you can tell, clues allow us to solve certain situations. It is very useful for doctors in the way that they can use clues/symptoms and deductive reasoning to figure out a patients disease, what the cure is, and how long these symptoms will last. For detectives, it allows them to solve crimes. For the everyday person, well it may just help you to figure out what the hell happened last night when you were blackout drunk.


One thought on ““Clues” for Doctors

  1. This is a pretty good way of displaying how you made use of the knowledge you picked up from the article. What i liked most was how you started to retrace the steps of your friend and figured out where his and wallet were right behind the bush. your description of how a doctor should react towards a patient seems pretty accurate as well. overall, your blog has all the elements it needs, great job!


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