A key-feature is a critical step in problem solving. Those steps should be likely to cause problems to students and be important in making a diagnosis or management decision. Key-feature problems start with a clinical vignette and contain usually 2-3 questions regarding the vignette. The questions require write-in of an answer or selection of an option from a long list. Fischer et al. transfer the idea to an electronic version available as short cases (i.e. key-feature cases) in the VP system CASUS. Key-feature cases replace longer cases (i.e. Patient Management Problems) in assessment of clinical reasoning because they allow testing more clinical decisions in a shorter time, are less case-specific and by that more reliable as an assessment form.
- Page G, et al. The Medical Council of Canada’s key features project: a more valid written examination of clinical decision-making skills. Acad Med. 1995;70(2):104-10
- Fischer MR, et al. A modified electronic key feature examination for undergraduate medical students: validation threats and opportunities. Med Teach. 2005;27(5):450-5.