Comfort with uncertainty in medical professionals: an exploration of how clinicians experience and manage dynamic problems in practice

Jonathan Seth Ilgen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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This thesis explored physicians’ in-the-moment experiences of uncertainty at work, seeking to better understand how they used dynamic appraisals of comfort and discomfort to safely manage complex problems in practice despite their ongoing sense of uncertainty. These efforts included making predictions about how a problem might evolve, thinking about the human and material resources they could draw upon to ensure patient safety, and engaging colleagues to ‘borrow comfort’ when they encountered problems that were at the borders of their abilities.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • de Bruin, Anique, Supervisor
  • Regehr, Glenn, Supervisor, External person
  • Teunissen, Pim, Supervisor
Award date15 Dec 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464193589
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • uncertainty
  • comfort
  • discomfort
  • clinical reasoning

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