Diagnostic Checklist Website – Differential Diagnosis Lists From Dr. Ely With Additional Resources

Drs. John W Ely, Mark L Graber, and Pat Croskerry have written a seminal article on improving medical diagnosis Resource (1) below, Checklists to reduce diagnostic errors [Link is to the full text HTML].*

You can access Dr. Ely’s outstanding differential diagnosis lists at the Diagnostic Checklist Website [Be sure and visit the desktop and mobile versions – incredible resources]

*Thanks to Drs. Szecket and Nahill of the IM Reasoning Podcasts, for discussing Dr. Ely’s work in EPISODE 6: DIAGNOSTIC ERROR IN MEDICINE CONFERENCE 2015 – DAY 1
JULY 26, 2017. [The link is to the podcast and show notes and includes outstanding resources on the topic.]

So my post today is simply to remind me of the excellent the work of Drs. Ely, Szecket, and Nahill. [This blog and my posts are my medical study notes.]

The Clinician Checklists web page from The Society To Improve Diagnosis in Medicine [SIDM] has a number of great resources on checklists. The following is from the web page:

Many physicians already use checklists for surgeries, central line insertions, and other processes, leading to improvements in the quality and safety of medical care. Diagnostic checklists can help, too!

There are a wealth of checklists—which are used today throughout the medical field, and many other industries—that are specifically geared to helping support clinicians in their cognitive process for making a diagnosis.

Process Checklists address common cognitive challenges that contribute to diagnostic error.

Content Checklists explore the most common diagnoses for any given symptom.

The checklists are provided for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice. Publication does not indicate SIDM endorsement.

See the outstanding Diagnostic Checklist Website [Be sure and visit the desktop and mobile versions – incredible resources]:


Welcome to the Diagnostic Checklist website. This website was inspired by a publication in Academic Medicine titled Checklists to reduce diagnostic errors by Dr J. Ely, Dr. M. Graber and Dr. P. Croskerry. Diagnostic errors are common and can often be traced to physicians’ cognitive biases and failed heuristics (mental shortcuts). Recently, checklists have gained acceptance in medical settings, such as operating rooms and intensive care units.

The goal of this checklist application is to prompt physicians to consider a broad differential diagnosis for diagnostically challenging patients in primary care and to help resist the most common cause of missing a diagnosis: the physician’s failure to consider it.

new item iconJanuary 24, 2017: The Diagnostic Checklist has been updated with new lists of Presenting Complaints and Possible Diagnoses compiled by Dr. Ely. Funding for this update is gratefully acknowledged from the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

Desktop Version            Mobile Version


(1) Checklists to reduce diagnostic errors [PubMed Abstract] [Full Text HTML] [Download Full Text PDF]. Acad Med. 2011 Mar;86(3):307-13. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31820824cd.

The above article has been cited 43 PubMed Central Articles.



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