Assessing clinical reasoning: a method to monitor its development in a PBL curriculum.Med Teach. 2002 Sep; 24(5):507-15.MT
The aim of this study was to develop and trial a method to monitor the evolution of clinical reasoning in a PBL curriculum that is suitable for use in a large medical school. Termed Clinical Reasoning Problems (CRPs), it is based on the notion that clinical reasoning is dependent on the identification and correct interpretation of certain critical clinical features. Each problem consists of a clinical scenario comprising presentation, history and physical examination. Based on this information, subjects are asked to nominate the two most likely diagnoses and to list the clinical features that they considered in formulating their diagnoses, indicating whether these features supported or opposed the nominated diagnoses. Students at different levels of medical training completed a set of 10 CRPs as well as the Diagnostic Thinking Inventory, a self-reporting questionnaire designed to assess reasoning style. Responses were scored against those of a reference group of general practitioners. Results indicate that the CRPs are an easily administered, reliable and valid assessment of clinical reasoning, able to successfully monitor its development throughout medical training. Consequently, they can be employed to assess clinical reasoning skill in individual students and to evaluate the success of undergraduate medical schools in providing effective tuition in clinical reasoning.