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  • Published August 2017

Clinical reasoning education at US medical schools: results from a national survey of internal medicine clerkship directors.

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In recent years, diagnostic error has gained widespread attention as a major patient safety issue. Addressing cognitive biases as part of medical education may help reduce diagnostic error. Researchers sought to characterize clinical reasoning educational programs at United States medical schools and to understand the attitudes of internal medicine clerkship directors around the instruction of clinical reasoning. Survey responses were received from 91 out of 123 members of the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine. Respondents generally felt that clinical reasoning should be formally taught throughout medical education and that more time should be set aside for doing so. More than 50% of the respondents indicated that their institution did not have dedicated time for teaching clinical reasoning. Both limited curricular time and lack of faculty capable of teaching in this area were cited as barriers. The authors suggest that additional resources should be dedicated to teaching clinical reasoning in medical education. A PSNet perspective provides an update on diagnostic error.

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