We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Are Two (Inexperienced) Heads Better Than One (Experienced) Head?  Averaging House Officers' Prognostic Judgments for Critically Ill Patients

Roy M. Poses, MD; Carolyn Bekes, MD; Robert L. Winkler, PhD; W. Eric Scott, MD; Fiore J. Copare, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(9):1874-1878. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390200068013.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


• Inexperienced physicians may make prognostic judgments and management decisions about acutely ill patients in the absence of supervision. We hypothesized that mathematically combining judgments of junior and senior house officers might yield aggregate judgments as good as those made by experienced critical care attending physicians. We obtained independent quantitative assessments of the likelihood of in-hospital survival for 269 sequential intensive care unit admissions from the patient's intern or resident and the critical care fellow and attending physician on duty within 24 hours of admission, and compared these judgments with mortality data. By logistic regression, the residents' and fellows' judgments added independent prognostic information to each other (likelihood ratio χ2,7.6; df = 1). The junior house officers' and fellows' assessments were significantly less reliable than the attending physicians' by calibration curves, and by Brier scores, 0.126 and 0.127 vs 0.119. All physicians had good discriminating ability (receiver operating characteristic areas [SE] were 0.83 [0.03], 0.85 [0.03], 0.86 [0.03], respectively). A simple average of the residents' and fellows' judgments was slightly but significantly more reliable by calibration curve and by Brier score, 0.117, and as discriminating (ROC area=0.85, SE=0.03) as the attending physicians' judgments. Nonmedical studies have shown that averaging independent judgments may compensate for people's tendency to make extreme estimates, and may take advantage of their complementary abilities. This first medical application of this technique suggests that this form of voting by secret ballot may prove useful for health care teams making other judgments and decisions.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:1874-1878)


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

35 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.