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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 1425693, 11 pages
Review Article

Complementarity of Clinician Judgment and Evidence Based Models in Medical Decision Making: Antecedents, Prospects, and Challenges

1Institute of Medical Insurance and Hospital Management, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China
2School of Management, Jiangsu University, 301 Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China
3School of Graduate Studies, Ghana Technology University College, Private Mail Bag 100, Accra, Ghana

Received 10 March 2016; Accepted 25 July 2016

Academic Editor: Rita Casadio

Copyright © 2016 Zhou Lulin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Early accounts of the development of modern medicine suggest that the clinical skills, scientific competence, and doctors’ judgment were the main impetus for treatment decision, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy assessment, and medical progress. Yet, clinician judgment has its own critics and is sometimes harshly described as notoriously fallacious and an irrational and unfathomable black box with little transparency. With the rise of contemporary medical research, the reputation of clinician judgment has undergone significant reformation in the last century as its fallacious aspects are increasingly emphasized relative to the evidence based options. Within the last decade, however, medical forecasting literature has seen tremendous change and new understanding is emerging on best ways of sharing medical information to complement the evidence based medicine practices. This review revisits and highlights the core debate on clinical judgments and its interrelations with evidence based medicine. It outlines the key empirical results of clinician judgments relative to evidence based models and identifies its key strengths and prospects, the key limitations and conditions for the effective use of clinician judgment, and the extent to which it can be optimized and professionalized for medical use.