How to help patients deal with an unclear diagnosis

Patients can accept uncertainty if their GP articulates a plan to find the answer

I recently discovered a new word — heuristic.


It comes from an Ancient Greek word meaning ‘find’ or ‘discover’ and describes an approach to problem-solving that employs a practical method that might not be perfect but is good enough for the moment. 

Surely this is a wonderful word to summarise the art of general practice?

As individuals, we develop a new heuristic for each consultation, one that includes dealing with uncertainty. 

Uncertainty is a day-to-day reality of general practice. For the wellbeing of our