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Definition of Diagnosis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A conclusion or decision reached by diagnosis. The diagnosis is rabies. 3 The identification of any problem. The diagnosis was a plugged IV.

The word diagnosis comes directly from the Greek, but the meaning has been changed. To the Greeks a diagnosis meant specifically a "discrimination, a distinguishing, or a discerning between two possibilities." Today, in medicine that corresponds more closely to a differential diagnosis.

QUESTION

What causes tooth decay? See Answer
Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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