Table 1

Comparison of medicine with other fields of performance with respect to decisions, outcomes, documentation of data and representations of mental processes as well as how feedback occurs

FieldDecisionOutcomeDocumented dataRepresentations of mental processesHow feedback about decision-making processes and outcomes occurs
Air traffic controlCan a specific aircraft safely take off or land at a given time in the context of weather and traffic conditions?Maintenance of safe distance between aircrafts at all times.
Safe take-offs and landings.
Radar data recordings that depict aircraft flight paths, altitudes, speeds, and runway activity.Recordings of all verbal communications between pilots and air traffic controllers, including controller instructions.Checklists and debriefings of simulator training, on-the-job training, and error investigations.
MeteorologyShould a specific weather warning or alert be issued?Advance warning about severe weather without excessive false positive warnings.Model predictions, radar maps at given points in time, actual recordings of severe weather events, storm spotter reports, storm surveys.Chat transcripts, recordings of conversations and consultations with other experts.Consistent review of verification data, tracking of false positive and false negative rates.
Team sports (eg, football)Should a specific play be used at a given time?Success of an individual play at a given point, overall win/loss.Recordings of the game/practice.Notes from coaching staff.Consistent review of film with debriefing after practice and games.
MedicineWhat is the correct prioritised differential diagnosis for this patient?Accurate, timely and efficient diagnosis (often unknown).Notes in the medical record, imaging, laboratory data.Sometimes contained in clinician notes.Occurs uncommonly through formal peer review, informal discussion or personal methods to follow up on cases.