Does Analytical Reasoning Increase Diagnostic Accuracy?

Yes, according to a randomized control study performed with 145 medical students during their 4th year OSCEs. After encountering a patient, students in the test group made a diagnosis with the aid of a differential diagnoses and symptoms table. The control group omitted table and only submitted diagnosis. The diagnostic accuracy scores on OSCEs were higher in the group using analytical reasoning (table). Although this method seemed to reduce cognitive bias in 4th medical students, the approach works best on medical students and residents as opposed to more experienced doctors and may not work on very complex cases where students’ medical knowledge is the rate limiting factor. –Lee Ann Schein, Ph. D.

Myung SJ et al. Effect of enhanced analytic reasoning on diagnostic accuracy: A randomized controlled study. Medical Teacher 2013, 1–3, Early Online(Posted online on January 18, 2013)

Link To Article

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