Thinking is Teaching: Techniques for Fostering Clinical Reasoning Among Learners

Target Audience: Any faculty interested in elevating their own teaching skills, especially regarding fostering clinical reasoning and medical decision making.

Sound clinical reasoning is essential for quality patient care. Diagnostic error is found in 5%-15% of cases in medicine, and three-fourths of these are cognitive errors. These statistics underscore the importance of developing the cognitive processes necessary for effective problem solving and diagnostic accuracy. Clinical reasoning therefore is a critical component of professional training.

How best do physicians foster clinical reasoning in learners? Principles of adult learning theory suggest that medical students and house officers learn clinical reasoning skills most effectively within real-world clinical environments and contexts. Unfortunately, techniques for teaching clinical reasoning in the patient care environment have historically lacked empirical evidence-based approaches and thus relied on educational theory, opinion, and experience.

This workshop will raise awareness regarding the importance of clinical reasoning in patient care. It will review the results of a national qualitative study that examined exemplary inpatient clinician-educators and their specific techniques for cultivating clinical reasoning within teams. Participants will be equipped with tangible behaviors that foster clinical reasoning in patient care environments. Finally, it will allow participants an opportunity to practice these skills.

Learning Objectives:

  • To discuss the importance of clinical reasoning in patient care and the diagnostic process.
  • To recognize the merits of examining the approaches of exemplary clinician-educators.
  • To identify tangible skills and techniques to foster clinical reasoning among learners.
  • To practice cultivating clinical reasoning in a safe and supportive learning environment.

Facilitated By:

Nathan Houchens, MD
Associate Chief of Medicine, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan

Michael Cole, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor 
Director, EC3 Elective
Assistant Director, Emergency Medicine Clerkship
Co-Director, Chief Concern Course
Doctoring Faculty

CME Credits

The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this workshop, or have questions about accessibility, please contact Jordan Wright or 734-764-2574. Please also let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies. Advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the University to arrange so letting us know at least 2 weeks in advance is much appreciated.

Upcoming Sessions

There are no scheduled sessions for this workshop. Interested in attending a future session? Let us know.