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Must Read Update : Medical Diagnosis. by BhbHoLLAH (m): 4:49am on December 8

Medical diagnosis
(abbreviated Dx[1] or DS) is the process of determining which disease or condition explains a person's symptoms and signs. It is most often referred to as diagnosis with the medical context being implicit. The information required for diagnosis is typically collected from a history and physical examination of the person seeking medical care. Often, one or more diagnostic procedures, such as diagnostic tests, are also done during the process. Sometimes the posthumous diagnosis is considered a kind of medical diagnosis.

Diagnosis is often challenging because many signs and symptoms are nonspecific. For example, redness of the skin (erythema), by itself, is a sign of many disorders and thus does not tell the healthcare professional what is wrong. Thus differential diagnosis, in which several possible explanations are compared and contrasted, must be performed. This involves the correlation of various pieces of information followed by the recognition and differentiation of patterns. Occasionally the process is made easy by a sign or symptom (or a group of several) that is pathognomonic.

Diagnosis is a major component of the procedure of a doctor's visit. From the point of view of statistics, the diagnostic procedure involves classification tests.

MEDICAL USES OF DIAGNOSIS
A diagnosis, in the sense of diagnostic procedure, can be regarded as an attempt at classification of an individual's condition into separate and distinct categories that allow medical decisions about treatment and prognosis to be made. Subsequently, a diagnostic opinion is often described in terms of a disease or other condition, but in the case of a wrong diagnosis, the individual's actual disease or condition is not the same as the individual's diagnosis.

A diagnostic procedure may be performed by various health care professionals such as a physician, physical therapist, optometrist, healthcare scientist, chiropractor, dentist, podiatrist, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. This article uses diagnostician as any of these person categories.

A diagnostic procedure (as well as the opinion reached thereby) does not necessarily involve elucidation of the etiology of the diseases or conditions of interest, that is, what caused the disease or condition. Such elucidation can be useful to optimize treatment, further specify the prognosis or prevent recurrence of the disease or condition in the future.

The initial task is to detect a medical indication to perform a diagnostic procedure. Indications
include:
Detection of any deviation from what is known to be normal, such as can be described in terms of, for example, anatomy (the structure of the human body), physiology (how the body works), pathology (what can go wrong with the anatomy and physiology), psychology (thought and behavior) and human homeostasis (regarding mechanisms to keep body systems in balance). Knowledge of what is normal and measuring of the patient's current condition against those norms can assist in determining the patient's particular departure from homeostasis and the degree of departure, which in turn can assist in quantifying the indication for further diagnostic processing.

A complaint expressed by a patient.
The fact that a patient has sought a diagnostician can itself be an indication to perform a diagnostic procedure. For example, in a doctor's visit, the physician may already start performing a diagnostic procedure by watching the gait of the patient from the waiting room to the doctor's office even before she or he has started to present any complaints.

Even during an already ongoing diagnostic procedure, there can be an indication to perform another, separate, diagnostic procedure for another, potentially concomitant, disease or condition.

This may occur as a result of an incidental finding of a sign unrelated to the parameter of interest, such as can occur in comprehensive tests such as radiological studies like magnetic resonance imaging or blood test panels that also include blood tests that are not relevant for the ongoing diagnosis.

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