Researchers examine how gut feelings are formulated

Researchers examine how gut feelings are formulated

Is it a sixth sense or logic at its finest?
source-image
Oct 23, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

If you have a tendency to go with your “gut feeling,” you’re not alone. The question is: What are your gut feelings actually telling you? Do they help predict outcomes or are they just hunger pangs?

A team of researchers from the Netherlands set out to determine how doctors use their gut feelings. Researchers worked with 27 medical opinion leaders to define gut feelings, according to an article recently published in BMC Family Practice. The research showed that gut feelings can be divided into two categories- a “sense of alarm” and a “sense of reassurance.”

With the sense of alarm, a person may come to a conclusion without any concrete facts. For example, a doctor may decide to check a patient for diabetes, even if the patient was not showing the classic symptoms of the disease.

“A sense of alarm activates the diagnostic process by stimulating a general practitioner to formulate and weigh up working hypotheses that might involve a serious outcome,” says researcher Erik Stolper. “The sense will decrease as the diagnosis and the right management become clearer.”

On the other hand, a doctor experiencing a sense of reassurance gut feeling would be confident with his ordered course of treatment, even if uncertain about the diagnosis.

Hot topics on dvm360

Follow dvm360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

For quick updates and to touch base with the editors of dvm360, Veterinary Economics, Veterinary Medicine, and Firstline, and check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Sell veterinary clients on your service

But you don't have to have butler-style service to win new clients and keep existing clients happy.

Why veterinarians should be more like a Louisiana shoeshiner

If my veterinary clients feel half as good as I did after visiting the 'Michael Jordan of shoeshines,' I'll be thrilled.

Texts from your veterinary clinic cat

If your clinic cat had a cell phone and opposable thumbs, what would he or she text you?

Learning goodbye: Veterinarians fill a void by focusing on end of life care

Veterinarians dedicating their careers to hospice and euthansia medicine may be pioneering the profession's next specialty—at clients' request.