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Clinical Reasoning -Thinking about thinking

Ken Donald

Clinical Reasoning -Thinking about thinking

Clinical reasoning is the cognitive process that underlies diagnosis and management of a patient’s presenting problem. It is a skill to be learnt.

Learning Objectives for Clinical Reasoning

  • Apply the Dual Process Theory (DPT) of clinical reasoning and commit to developing these skills through regular practice.
  • Acknowledge and address ambiguity and uncertainty in medical practice and explain strategies to deal with these issues.
  • Be able to explain the processes that lead to clinical errors as well as explain strategies to avoid diagnostic and management errors.
  •  Understand how the Health Care System operates and the impact on the application of clinical reasoning in terms of resources and limitations. Explain how the resources of the Health Care System can be utilised to improve diagnostic and management outcomes.
  • Explain the contribution of medical clinical reasoning to both patient safety and resource usage in the health system generally as well as in clinical teams.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of reasons for and consequences of variations in medical care.
  • Apply the clinical reasoning framework to common and important presenting symptoms and signs and generate differential diagnoses.

Ken Donald

Brisbane, Australia

Ken Donald AO was a member of the Wallabies from 1957-60, during which time he played in ten Test matches. He studied medicine at UQ simultaneously and graduated MB BS in 1962 and in 1973 was awarded a PhD in immunology. He initially worked as a pathologist, which included appointments as Director of Pathology at Royal Brisbane Hospital and Professor of Anatomical Pathology at University of Newcastle. His rugby interests continued and from 1979-81 he was manager of the Australian rugby team.

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