What We Do When We Don’t Know How To Diagnose


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Modern Chinese medical educations do not teach students the skill of diagnosis.  I know that is a radical statement but, over my 30 plus years of practice and 20 plus years of teaching, I have seen the evidence of this over and over.  We were taught to do an intake and then to “come to a diagnosis” based on the information we gathered.  However, how we process the information we gather has never been clear.  The way people process it fascinating to see.  As someone who reads many many case histories written by western practitioners of Chinese medicine, it is clear that most are very confused about how to work with this information.

This has been my area of study since I first really got it back in 1999: we are not taught to diagnose in our Chinese medical educations.

My students methods were all over the map and still, when I read case studies on various forums, I see that most practitioners are still floundering in this area.  And isn’t this the foundation for accurate prescribing and good results?!  What is going on?   How does one diagnose in a way that is grounded, accurate and confidence building through good results?

white pine bannerThe White Pine Institute Graduate Mentorship Program represents the result of my grappling with these questions, teaching students how to work with signs and symptoms in a way that gives them a diagnosis they can be confident in.  Actually, it is very difficult to integrate knowledge about herbs and formulas without really understanding how to perceive and articulate the patterns correctly.  Once we do know how to diagnose, learning becomes much easier.

I have created this short presentation that describes what I have seen us practitioners do when we don’t know how to diagnose.  These are habits we all have experienced; every one of us and every one of these habits.  I am sure you will recognize yourself here.

A new Graduate Mentorship Program starts September 23rd, in case you are interested in developing your diagnostic and treatment confidence.  Here is the syllabus for the new GMP2016 program.

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