clinical uncertainty

Incidental Illness

How, in the quiet world of outpatient medicine, does one know when a life is saved? More

Ethical Implications of Incidental Findings

Imagine that you volunteer for memory study and the fMRI also happens to find a life-threatening aneurysm. Your life is saved by the “incidental finding.” But what if tumor that may not be serious is incidentally found? The tumor may not be risky, but the surgery to remove it is. You spend the rest of your life haunted by the decision of whether to operate or whether to wait. What are the ethical implications of incidental findings? A Presidential Commission weighs in. More

Tolerating Ambiguity

When faced with ambiguous situations, most of us — quite humanly — want to run for the tantalizing veneer of the certain. We doctors pride ourselves in the scientific girders of modern medicine. Much of the time, though, we function in an ambiguous zone, without clear-cut answers. More

Incidental Finding?

A small adrenal mass was “incidentally noted” on my patient’s CT. But once the incidentaloma had been given life, so to speak, it was no longer incidental. We were now obliged to run some highly complicated — and expensive — lab tests. More

Judgement Call

Is the quality of a judgment call determined only by the outcome? Or does it stand alone, with the outcome irrelevant? More

Books by Danielle Ofri