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November 1997

The Marriage of Guidelines of Care and Outcomes

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Indiana University School of Medicine 550 N University Blvd Suite 3240 Indianapolis, IN 46202

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(11):1389-1391. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890470063010

AS PHYSICIANS, we have a responsibility to our patients to acquire and use information to diagnose, treat, and prevent human disease. We acquire this information from a variety of sources, first in our formal education and then during our professional lives. These sources include textbooks, journals, continuing medical education courses, consultations with colleagues, pharmaceutical representatives, and practice guidelines. However, all these sources are filtered and modified through personal experience with our own patients. Each of us is unique and each of us brings our own personal wisdom to bear on our patients' problems. Yet, as professionals, we are entrusted to bring a certain level of collective expertise to our clinical practice. This level is difficult to measure, but can be demonstrated by our accuracy of diagnosis, efficient and effective use of resources, and the outcomes for the patient. These elements—diagnosis or definition of the problem, intervention and use of resources,

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