User's Guide To Digital DDx


Digital DDx is an educational web app for medical students, residents, practicing clinicians and other health care professionals. It is not designed to provide medical advice for the lay public or to be used in the place of input from trained professionals.

How to use this app:

    Use Digital DDx to see differentials based on 1000s of symptoms. The schema presented lend organization and clarity to the clinical reasoning process.

    For example, Chest Pain is broken into Cardiac, Pulmonary, GI, MSK, Neuropathic, Anxiety and Other categories. And each of these is broken into smaller buckets. A variety of organizational cascades (e.g. anatomic, organ system based, physiologic) are used, based on what makes most sense for a particular symptom or condition.

    You can use Digital DDx to check and expand your clinical reasoning – and as a tool to help organize your approach to particular clinical problems.

    The path to each disease is revealed by clicking through the branch points. Each ‘disease card’ contains the key elements that make up the illness script for that disorder (i.e. etiology, risk factors, symptoms, exam findings, lab tests and imaging).

    A search feature allows you to quickly find specific symptoms/conditions or disorders. You can also explore symptoms via an Organ System approach. Finally, symptoms/conditions and diseases are presented alphabetically. These multiple avenues for engagement allow you to search and learn using a structure that makes the most sense to you.

    The Your Path feature at the top of each page highlights the steps taken to get to that point of the clinical reasoning tree. It also allows you to move backwards and head down an alternate path, taking you to a different destination. Beneath Your Path is the + Display All Path(s) option , which reveals all of the other paths that would lead to the same destination.

    Links to images of specific disorders, background information, clinical scoring tools, physical exam maneuvers, and diagnostic testing strategies are often provided. Everything that is presented is fully referenced .

    Clicking on the Digital DDx label in the upper left of every page offers easy navigation to any location on the site.

If you have comments/suggestions, please email: cggoldberg@ucsd.edu. This web app is designed for educational and informational purposes only. Please do not email with clinical questions or with requests for medical advice. Thanks! Charlie Goldberg MD, University of California San Diego School of Medicine