Medicine is all about making decisions, but in the course of medical education, we are never actually taught how to make decisions. It is implied, as if this is a skill that we come born with. But that's not true. You have to learn how to make a decision.
The one thing that so many doctors experience is not a lack of information, but too much. We gather reports, lab tests, x-rays, repeat x-rays, repeat lab tests, consultations, and all in the effort to make a decision. And as we hem and haw, the issue becomes moot. We are paralyzed by information. And suddenly we are second guessing ourselves, and withdrawing previous decisions, favoring another.
And most of the time when we're paralyzed like this, we end up being right by doing nothing. Voltaire said it best: "The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."
If you like to read Malcolm Gladwell, he writes a lot on decision making, and all the things that we use to make a decision, and it is scary to realize that what I had for lunch that day may be more influential to my plan of care than anything in the patient's chart.