PHILIP LEVITT, M.D., F.A.C.S. August 27, 2012, 10:18 am I'm a retired neurosurgeon and I've been writing a paper for a radiology journal on, among other things, diagnostic errors in clinical medicine and radiology. I've read that most doctors stop employing a differential diagnosis in their heads after training and use pattern recognition or heuristic thinking. They get the diagnosis right most of the time, so why worry? I've also read that while they have found computer assisted diagnostics helpful, they don't use it in practice when it's available. It is also written that a combination of cognitive approaches, pattern recognition plus going through a differential diagnosis would work best and lead to the fewest diagnostic errors. Medicine is taught like a father showing his son how to make a canoe. Only by getting back to that level of learning can any safety progress be made.