Gut feelings in general practice.
Professionals in all fields use the full continuum of analytical and non-analytic, intuitive modes of thinking. Medical practitioners are expected by the public to rely on analytical, science based cognitive processes. However, to function in their everyday practice settings, requires them to make use of non-analytical tools too. The relevance and validity of ‘gut feelings’ is increasingly recognized. This may be particularly relevant for general practitioners (GPs), all over Europe who are often faced with complicated, poorly defined problems in situations of uncertainty which they have to solve at short notice. In such situations of uncertainty, gut feelings may play a substantial role in the diagnostic process.
To study the diagnostic significance of gut feelings, an international research group has been established in 2008: The European Expert Group on Cognitive and Interactive Processes in Diagnosis and Management in General Practice or COGITA for short (See www.gutfeelingsingeneralpractice.eu). This expert group prepares international research proposals and initiates cross-border projects. One of the goals is to advise other researchers in Europe on how to set up new research into gut feelings, while another is to present the group and its research findings at international scientific research fora like EGPRN and WONCA.
Erik Stolper, Paul Van Royen