We deal with uncertainty every day in general practice.

This month, we review 5 cases illustrating various reasons or things that may be contributing to uncertainty in general practice.

This is part 2 of a 3 part series, where we listen in on a webinar with Marlene Pearce, a GP based on the Sunshine Coast, QLD. In Part 1 of ‘Uncertainty in General Practice’, Marlene spoke about using clinical reasoning to assist, what to do when we’re stuck, as well as what pitfalls to avoid. In this episode, we consider what actually contributes to the uncertainty we experience.

View the recording to find out more:

Dealing with uncertainty is complex. If you consider the challenge of early, undifferentiated presentations, the relative likelihood of serious illness, the limits of location, consultation time, or the inherent limits of decision making tools, you will have a deeper appreciation of what you’re actually dealing with. Doing nothing, asking for help from colleagues, referring for advise and review, and allowing time to pass can all be very reasonable options, depending on the situation.

Being comfortable in uncertainty and managing patient expectations are skills – skills that can be honed over time.

Watch out for Part 3, where we look at minimising risk and maximising coping skills when dealing with uncertainty.