Journal of
Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health

  • Abbreviation: J. Vet. Med. Anim. Health
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2529
  • DOI: 10.5897/JVMAH
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 350

Review

A Bayesian approach for inductive reasoning to clinical veterinary medicine: The math of experience

Nitipong Homwong*
  • Nitipong Homwong*
  • Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, 385 AnSci/VetMed, 1988 Fitch Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55108, United States. 2Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus, Nakhon Pathom, 73140, Thailand.
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Vachira Hunprasit
  • Vachira Hunprasit
  • Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, C339 VMC, 1352 Boyd Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55108, United States. 4Chulalongkorn University, 254 Phayathai Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.
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Douglas Marthaler
  • Douglas Marthaler
  • Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, 385 AnSci/VetMed, 1988 Fitch Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55108, United States. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, 328 VDL 1333 Gortner Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55108, United States.
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Jody Lulich
  • Jody Lulich
  • Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, C339 VMC, 1352 Boyd Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55108, United States.
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John Deen
  • John Deen
  • Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, 385 AnSci/VetMed, 1988 Fitch Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55108, United States.
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  •  Received: 22 July 2015
  •  Accepted: 31 August 2015
  •  Published: 31 October 2015

Abstract

A Bayesian approach (BA) is well-used in veterinary medicine as it has been used for inductive reasoning regarding interventions, treatments and diagnoses. The objectives of the current article were (1) to examine the state of BA used for inductive reasoning in veterinary medical problems and (2) to illustrate how veterinarians update states of knowledge (prior clinical experience) to a new state of knowledge (posterior clinical experience). When veterinarians are managing patients, they start with their inference from history and a clinical sign to an underlying cause using inductive reasoning. In updating from a prior clinical experience to a posterior clinical experience, the strength of evidence plays an important role. Nevertheless, if an experienced veterinarian uses his/her previous experience of a current patient’s clinical signs, he/she may not move from the prior clinical experience to a posterior clinical experience and is less likely to change his/her treatment decisions. In comparison, for a novice veterinarian who would have less prior clinical experiences with given clinical signs, his/her prior clinical experience would easily be changed to a posterior clinical experience after taking history and physical examination. In brief, the more prior clinical experience a veterinarian has, the more rapid a diagnosis is made. The stronger the evidence, the more precise inference will be.

 

Key words: Bayesian, inference, reasoning, inductive, veterinarian.