Talk:rule out

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Looking for usage notes re duly careful medical use of "rule out"[edit]

It is common to talk about ruling out diagnoses. It is hard to imagine how certain areas of medical practice could do without this concept (eg, emerg med). However, I vaguely remember something about some physicians or editors having a problem with the term "rule out." Something about it being overused or improperly used. Can anyone offer any info on that? 15:11, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

I'd bet the problem some folks have is that "ruling out" a diagnosis can sound more definitive than it should. The testing process does not generate certainty. To cross something off the list of items under active consideration does not mean to exclude them from subsequent reconsideration. See w:How Doctors Think at Wikipedia. DCDuring TALK 15:42, 18 December 2008 (UTC)