Clinical Reasoning

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Clinical reasoning is a complex process that uses cognition and discipline-specific knowledge to gather and analyze patient information, evaluate its significance, and weigh alternative actions. The way how clinical reasoning is conceptualized varies across health professions. It includes tasks such as data gathering and interpretation, synthesizing information, generating hypotheses and diagnoses, developing management plans that respects the patients’ perspective, and avoiding cognitive errors. It is recognized as a key professional competency for practicing healthcare professionals. 

Sudacka M, Adler M, Durning SJ, Edelbring S, Frankowska A, Hartmann D, Hege I, Huwendiek S, Sobočan M, Thiessen N, Wagner FL, Kononowicz AA. Why is it so difficult to implement a longitudinal clinical reasoning curriculum? A multicenter interview study on the barriers perceived by European health professions educators. BMC Med Educ. 2021;21(1):575.

Young M, Thomas A, Lubarsky S, Ballard T, Gordon D, Gruppen LD, Holmboe E, Ratcliffe T, Rencic J, Schuwirth L, Durning SJ. Drawing Boundaries: The Difficulty in Defining Clinical Reasoning. Acad Med. 2018;93(7):990-5.

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