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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-43

Viral infectious diseases: Specialist perspectives on learning about diagnosis and differential diagnosis

BMJ Knowledge Centre, BMJ Publishing Group, London, UK

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kieran Walsh
BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_19_18

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Background: Making a diagnosis of infectious disease requires knowledge of the symptoms, signs, and diagnostic tests associated with that disease. Many healthcare professionals use online clinical decision support resources to help learn how to make a diagnosis. One common and popular resource is BMJ Best Practice. The purpose of this paper is to share educational themes that can be drawn from the BMJ Best Practice clinical decision support resource. Methods: Documentary research was conducted on the diagnostic approach sections of the top 10 most viewed infectious disease topics. Topics included HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), infectious mononucleosis, hepatitis C, dengue, hepatitis A, influenza, measles, avian influenza, and Ebola. Results: Seven key themes emerged as follows: Clinical features remain paramount in learning about the diagnosis of infectious disease and elicitation of risk factors (including travel history) are an important part of the clinical history. Diagnosis is important in and of itself but is also important as a step toward notification, public health surveillance, and infection control measures. The differential diagnosis and coinfection are important considerations when learning how to diagnose infectious diseases as is the precise phase or stage of the disease in question. Conclusions: Much of the medical education literature focuses on the instructional design within the resources, rather than the actual content within the resources. This article attempts to redress this gap in the literature by describing the results of a detailed analysis of the content.

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