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Transcript: Description vs Diagnosis
Dr. Mark Skinner: The importance of distinguishing between description and diagnosis, and between observation and inference, is hugely important. It's actually very difficult to separate those sometimes and it is something that I impress upon myself and my students - try not to label the cause of anything, just describe what you see with words or pictures or whatever and then interpret it later. What you want really is a record of observation that will stand the test of time, and so even if your interpretations are quite wrong, there's a record of what you saw and that can be looked at 20 or 30 years later. It can still be interpreted afresh by somebody new with new information or better eyes or whatever, and so we really do try and distinguish between description and diagnosis.