What's in a Name? (Diagnosis)
Shakespeare’s Juliet asked, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene II, Line 46-47) But Juliet was a love-struck teenager. The Chinese philosopher Confucius gave advice that is more suitable for medical writers: “If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be conducted successfully.” (Analects Section 3, Part 13) A diagnosis is a kind of name—a name that must be used accurately. Real estate professionals tell us that the value of a property is determined by 3 factors: location, location, and location. Likewise, the care that a patient receives will hinge on diag-nosis, diagnosis, diagnosis. As medical writers, we need to understand what a diagnosis is, and what the process of diagnosis entails.
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