The art of medicine. It’s the cornerstone of medical practice. If medicine were all science, and only science, then we wouldn’t need human beings as doctors. We could just use computers. Or robots. They’d probably do better if medicine were simply the act of decision-making based purely on facts. How much easier would medicine be if we could just type every symptom we have into a computer and have it spit out a diagnosis? And a treatment. Maybe throw in an automated scan or two, a pinprick for blood analysis. Maybe keep a human computer tech on standby in case one of the machines decides to go haywire.
But doctoring also takes judgment. It demands a personal touch. It involves intuition. A human being must take into account every single factor involved in every patient and make a decision on what to do each and every time that patient walks into the office. And it’s OK for doctors to disagree with one another; opinions can differ. That’s why many patients will seek a “second opinion” for complicated medical situations—because there rarely is just one absolutely correct answer.