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Uncertainty and Professional Work: Perceptions of Physicians in Clinical Practice

Martha S. Gerrity, Jo Anne L. Earp, Robert F. DeVellis and Donald W. Light
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 97, No. 4, New Directions in the Sociology of Medicine (Jan., 1992), pp. 1022-1051
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2781505
Page Count: 30
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Uncertainty and Professional Work: Perceptions of Physicians in Clinical Practice
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Abstract

Despite growing awareness of uncertainty in technical and scientific fields, uncertainty among physicians, except among physicians in training, is not well researched. Existing studies have primarily used small samples and qualitative methods. This article reports the first rigorously developed measures of uncertainty administered to a large sample of practicing physicians. In contrast to denial and the tendency to minimize uncertainty reported in field studies of trainees, physicians in this study readily acknowledged uncertainty in a number of areas.

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