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Diagnosis: It's More Than Medical, It's Scientific

Diagnosis: It's More Than Medical, It's Scientific
Maurice Miller
September 4, 2000

On page 8 of your September, 1999 issue, Michael Maves, M.D., executive vice-president of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, is quoted as to who is qualified to make a ''diagnosis''. ''Diagnosis,'' he states, ''is in of itself medical in nature, and every knowledgeable diagnosis is a medical diagnosis rendered by a medical doctor.''

This is simply not the case. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language (1973) defines diagnosis as the process of determining by examination and analysis the cause or nature of a problem or situation. In the biologic sciences, the term refers to a scientific (not exclusively medical) determination or description, which classifies precisely. Miller, in the third edition of Katz' Handbook of Clinical Audiology (Williams and Wilkens, 1985, page 267), indicates that the various applications of arriving at a diagnosis refer to a process of orderly scientific descriptions, a process obviously not limited to physicians, but one that is used by all independent health practitioners.

Many health professionals can and should make diagnoses appropriate to their disciplines, including audiologists, optometrists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, nutritionists, and others. The right of the audiologists to make an audiological diagnosis is a given, hardly worthy of serious discussion by those genuinely committed to quality, integrated patient care.

PERMISSION: This article is reprinted with permission of the author and the publisher, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens, from The Hearing Journal (January 2000, Vol. 53, No. 1, p. 74).

Sennheiser Hearing - June 2024

Maurice Miller

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