Podcast: Decision Making and Cognitive Bias

Hi all,

I had the pleasure to sit down and talk with Dr Henry Richardson Banks on his new podcast, ‘The Examination Couch’.

We talked about ‘cognitive biases’, thought patterns that influence how we interpret events in our world, and how these biases are related to our work in medicine.

It’s a short discussion and is far from a complete representation of this extensive and nuanced topic, but as we finished the podcast I felt that our conversation had both developed some interesting topics and prompted questions for future discussion.

We discuss two biases in particular – the ‘Narrow Framing Bias’ and ‘Confirmation Bias’.

We felt that these biases are widespread in medical practice, from junior ranks to consultant positions. If bias affects decisions at all levels, we should try to understand them better!

How can they affect our performance in medicine?
Do we need to avoid them, or just be aware of them?
What are ways to mitigate cognitive bias in our day-to-day practice?

P.S.
In preparation for this podcast, we both read ‘Decisions’ by Chip and Dan Heath (no relation), discussing cognitive biases in a business-oriented context.
Due to this it doesn’t directly apply to medicine, but the core principles of cognitive biases apply very well – plus, it was fun doing a bit of mental pushing and pulling to make it fit!

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