Diagnosis is a series about the past, present and future of a medical cornerstone. It examines all aspects of diagnosis, how it happens, how it can be shaped by history or human bias, and how a diagnosis can itself affect a patient’s health. In this episode:

What happens when two physicians disagree about a diagnosis? If it’s on a television show, you can bet that one doctor is right and the other is wrong, with the right answer being cleared up by the time the final credits roll. In practice, however, a conflict like this can lead to profound questions. Researchers who study diagnosis have, over the past century, looked at diagnostic disagreement and other issues to rethink core questions about diagnosis itself. Are physicians using consistent criteria every time they look at a patient? Are gold standards of disease really telling us anything about the body? And what is disease, after all? These questions have been of particular interest to Dr. Adam Rodman, an internal medicine physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and a passionate medical educator. Rodman’s podcast Bedside Rounds explores medical history with a particular focus on how we have understood medicine and the body. In several recent episodes, Bedside Rounds has explored questions around diagnosis. Rodman shares some of that work with the Proto podcast.