This is a book about primary care clinicians and the "clinical
uncertainty" endemic to their work. Even when seemingly
straightforward, each patient raises unique questions regarding how
best to listen to their complaints, empathize with their suffering,
or respond to their silences.
This book is also about "addressing" uncertainty in primary care
practice and "engaging" it. Engagement requires knowledge, explicit
and tacit, placed in the service of a single patient s problem. It
also requires carefully managed communication, facilitating
dialogue with the patient and encouraging shared
Most importantly, this book is about "collaborative engagement
with case-based uncertainty in the setting of small groups of
clinicians. "Sommers and Launer contend that the medical profession
s tradition of working independently should be augmented with an
explicitly shared, collegial one of jointly creating wisdom through
An international panel of expert clinicians and educators
provides: Perspectives on clinical uncertainty in the medical
literatureA taxonomy of clinical uncertainty with patient
examplesAnalysis of the educator role to support clinicians in
engaginguncertainty A compendium of small group methods for
collaborative engagement with clinical scenariosAnalysis of the
special challenges ofcollaborative engagement
A mind-opening manifesto, "Clinical Uncertainty in Primary Care"
will equip primary care clinicians, educators, public health and
behavioral health professionals with resources for infusing
practice with meaning through collegial collaboration.
From the Foreword: Lucia Sommers and John Launer, with the
accompanying input of their contributing authors, have done a
deeply insightful and close-to-exhaustive job of defining clinical
uncertainty. They identify its origins, components and subtypes;
demonstrate the ways in which, and the extent to which it is
intrinsic to medicine and they present a cogent case for itsspecial
relationship to primary care practice Clinical Uncertainty in
Primary Care not only presents amodel of collegialcollaboration and
support, it also implicitly legitimatesit. Renee Fox. "
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