therapeutic challenge

This is what your doctor may say when he or she tries a treatment hoping to diagnose the illness. The doctor thinks the treatment is reasonably specific for the illness, and if the patient gets better, makes the assumption that the diagnosis was correct. Of course, this is sometimes the case. But the pitfall is that the patient may have gotten better regardless of or even in spite of the treatment. The association of treatment to "cure" may be coincidence. This happens a lot more than we physicians would care to admit!

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