Groupthink in Medicine — Donovan Hair Clinic

I encourage all hair specialists to avoid reviewing consult notes from other doctors when seeing a patient UNTIL one has made up their own mind about the diagnosis or treatment plan.  It’s tough to do sometimes but it’s the best way to force oneself to think critically. 

When you see the consult notes and letters from other specialists, your mind sometimes feels a sense of wanting to go along with the thinking patterns of prior specialists. Not always of course, but I think there is more of a tendency to do so than most people realize. We are wired to be social beings and this makes “Groupthink” common.

Wikipedia defines Groupthink as “a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Cohesiveness, or the desire for cohesiveness, in a group may produce a tendency among its members to agree at all costs. This causes the group to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation.”

Being aware of Groupthink helps individuals and organizations make better decisions.


[1] Karissa DiPierro  et a. Groupthink among health professional teams in patient care: A scoping review. Med Teach. 2022 Mar;44(3):309-318.


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