Dunning-Kruger Effect 

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The following slide outlines the Dunning-Kruger Effect and its relationship to being COMPETENT or INCOMPETENT when it comes to a particular topic or series of information.  This is a CRITICAL part of your understanding of WHAT the MD Primary knows and what they PORTRAY that they know.  If you have been to any of my presentations, you know that medical school give approximately 6 weeks of musculoskeletal training, only a few days is spine.  Most of that training is out of an atlas texbook.  It is only when the MD student descides to take an orthopedic or neurosurgical pathway that they get more education. With that being said, it is importand for YOU as the teacher to understand that they (the PCP) is starting at a significant disadvantage in the learning curve.  Much of the reason we have an opioid epidemic is medicine’s lack of knowledge and this “Dunning-Kruger Effect”.  Tens of thousands of spine pain patients with biomechanical causes to their pain were ignored due to this lack of education and it persisted because of this “Effect”.  

When you are communicating with the MD, understand that when it comes to the Diagnosis and Management of Biomechanical Spine Pain, they START at the HUH? portion of the curve.  With a little education (spine pain will resolve on its own, it is a muscle and PT will fix it) they become the “I was once blind now I see”, WHERE WE want to get them is the “H-m-m-m, there is more to this than I thought”!  That is WHERE YOU STOP.  We want them to recognize and understand that there IS MORE and they need to send the patient to us for evaluation.  ALWAYS keep this in mind when sharing patient reports, presenting research or just talking about spine care, remember, THEY DONT NEED TO UNDERSTAND IT, they just need to know “There is more to this than they thought”.  


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