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Project Title: Effective Clinical reasoning in Virtual Patients

Clinical reasoning

Virtual Patients

Project Duration: July 2015 - December 2017 Fellow: Dr. Inga Hege, M Comp Sc Funding: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship Departments: Institute for Medical Education at LMU Muenchen, Germany and Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH USA background: The European Commission estimates in the report "Patient Safety and Quality of Care" (2014) that each year 8 - 12% of hospitalized patients suffer from adverse events, including errors in diagnosis. One reason for the occurrence of such errors is a lack of clinical reasoning skills, a core competency that medical students have to learn during their studies (Norman 2005, Scott 2009).

Clinical reasoning

is often taught in face-to-face courses such as bedside-teaching, problem-based tutorials or during internships. Since the early nineties virtual patients (VPs) became more and more important in medical education to teach clinical reasoning skills (Cook 2009). The knowledge gap this project intends to address was raised by Cook et al. (2009, 2010) and, until know, remains unaddressed. He concluded that there is no evidence how virtual patient (VP) design variations influence clinical reasoning acquisition and that it is not fully understood how VPs teach clinical reasoning and how this process could be improved. Therefore, in this project research will be undertaken to develop and assess an effective clinical reasoning tool to be embedded into VPs, and create guidelines on how to implement the tool based on the outcomes of an interdisciplinary grounded theory approach. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 654857 Such a detailed elaboration of clinical reasoning in VPs will potentially improve the teaching of diagnostic skills with VPs.