The Full Wiki

More info on Sutton's law

Sutton's law: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sutton's law states that in attempting to diagnose a problem, one should first do the experiment that can confirm the most likely diagnosis. It is taught in medical schools to guide new doctors in ordering tests in a way that leads to faster treatment, while minimizing unnecessary costs. It is applicable to any process of diagnosis, in many disciplines, such as debugging computer programs. Computer-aided diagnosis provides a statistical and quantitative approach to these kinds of problems.

A more thorough analysis will consider the false positive rate of the test and the possibility that a less likely diagnosis might have more serious consequences.

The law is named after the bank robber Willie Sutton, who reputedly replied to a reporter's inquiry as to why he robbed banks by saying "because that's where the money is." He denied ever saying that in a 1976 book he co-authored, Where the Money Was.[1]

A similar idea is contained in the physician's adage, "When you hear hoofbeats behind you, think horses, not zebras."

See also

References

  • Altman, Lawrence (1970-01-03), "A Law Named for Willie Sutton Assists Physicians", The New York Times  
  • Rytand, David. "Sutton's or Dock's Law?". New England Journal of Medicine 302 (17): 972.  

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message