Medical Decision Making

Principal Investigators Jude Kornelsen (University of British Columbia) and Chloë Atkins (University of Calgary) with co-investigators Robert Woollard (UBC) and Keith Brownell (U of C) have been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study the best ethical practices in managing uncertainty in medical diagnosis.

This qualitative exploratory investigation will consider practitioner and patient response to the phenomenon of Medically Undiagnosed Physical Symptoms (MUPS) from the perspective of a trans-disciplinary team including social scientists, a general practitioner, and a specialist clinician.

The goal of this ethics-framed research is to examine how clinicians and patients conceptualize medical uncertainty within a disease-based framework.

This study is now closed, and reporting of the findings is now underway.


Atkins CGK, Brownell K, Kornelsen J, Wollard R, Whiteley A. Silos of Silence, Stress and Suffering: Patient And Physician Experiences of MUPS and Diagnostic Uncertainty. American Journal of Bioethics: Neurosciences, AJOB Neuroscience, 2013; 4(3): 3-8.