Thanks @ScottWorld and @Justin_Barrett.
I’ll try to explain it in as straightforward of a way as possible.
I am a physician and I use Airtable to help in my practice.
Below are 2 screenshots of a simplified example of how I use it.
I have a Table of “Symptoms” that a patient may present with.
And a table called “Diagnosis” which lists all the possible Diagnoses I treat.
Of course in the reality the list of potential symptoms that patients see me for is around 100 (instead of 5 as shown here). And the diagnoses I treat is around 500, (as opposed to 7 as shown here).
I use the Link field to match symptoms to a given diagnosis. So, for example, a patient that has the diagnosis of “Acute Mastoiditis” typically presents with “conductive hearing loss” and “ear pain.”
I like having Symptoms as a separate table because having a dedicated record for each potential symptom allows me to add additional information to it, such as the pertinent questions to ask and the exam maneuvers to do.
Likewise, I like having a dedicated record for each diagnosis because I can have a field for treatment/management options.
One of the ways I use airtable is to filter the symptoms field in the Diagnosis table, and select all the symptoms my patient presents with, and then it spits out the potential diagnoses that share those symptoms (See the third screenshot below). But in order to do this, I can’t filter by the linked field, but instead my current solution is to copy the whole column of the linked field and paste it to a new column that is designated as a multiselect. You can see that in the second screenshot. The column “Sx-select” is the pasted version of the “Sx [link]” field.
Fortunately, this works OK. But it does require ongoing maintenance… that is, periodically copy and pasting to make sure the multi-select column is “up to date.” It would be much nicer to be able to filter from the linked field directly.
The other reason it would be advantageous to allow Linked fields to filter similar to Multi/Single-select fields is because some of us have LONG lists of options in multi- or single-select fields. (as mentioned, I have at least 100 options in my symptoms lists). And it can be burdensome to manage or edit them when you are confined to doing so through the drop down… and when the only ability to sort them is in Alphabetical order. For people with a long list of potential options in a multi/single select field, it would be much nicer to be able to organize that list of potential variables in a separate Table altogether (where you could sub-categorize them etc.)
I guess I just don’t know what technical barriers there are to my idea.
Thanks again everyone. I appreciate your interest in helping me.