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The prefrontal cortex (in red) is used in system 2 thinking.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

As I’ve mentioned multiple times, in emergency medicine, it is essential to memorize certain basic rules and techniques to the point that they become second nature—a reflex. “For a bleeding wound, apply direct pressure”; “cool a burn.”

The most obvious reason for this is quick action can prevent further damage. But there’s another reason I’d like to explain: Reflex-like thinking uses a different part of your brain than regular thinking. This allows you to multitask easily; you can treat the immediate problem while at the same time considering what to do next.

However, reflex-like thinking does have a down side. It can lead to incorrect assumptions. So the trick is not to let either type of thinking take over too much. Otherwise, you could get into major problems.

The two types of thinking are today called system 1 and system 2. Doctors use them every day. But you do too. And you can learn to use them for medical purposes.

System 1 Vs. System 2 Thinking

System 1 is reflex thinking. System 2 requires you to put on [... continue reading]

Author: LAwordsmith
Posted: November 9, 2015, 8:56 pm

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