Contributing to the Development of a Clinical Reasoning Curriculum and Train-the-trainer Course!

Copyright DID-ACT 2020; EDU 2020
DID-ACT team at the project kick-off in Augsburg. Copyright DID-ACT 2020; EDU 2020

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As a consortium member of the EU-funded project DID-ACT, EDU is taking an active role in the advancement of medical education by improving the quality and relevance of higher education as well as contributing to innovation in the field.  Alongside EDU, the participating higher education organisations including Universität Augsburg, Örebro UniversityJagellonian University, Universität Bern, Mälardalen University and University of Maribor, as well as enterprises, namely CASUS Instruct, are all working together with the collective aim of improving the education for healthcare students by including or improving the important training of clinical reasoning abilities.   

What is clinical reasoning?  

Clinical reasoning is a complex set of abilities healthcare students must learn during their studies and continue to further develop in the workplace throughout their career. Clinical reasoning encompasses the application of knowledge to collect and integrate information from various sources to arrive at a diagnosis and management plan for patients in a shared decision-making process. Due to its multifactorial nature and unconscious components, this ability is difficult to both learn and teach (Kononowicz et al, 2020). 

A lack of clinical reasoning abilities is a primary cause of cognitive errors in patient care and threats to patient safety including unnecessary pain, treatments, or procedures for patients and is a driver of increasing healthcare costs (WHO, 2016). Despite the importance of clinical reasoning for the workplace of healthcare professionals and patient safety, there is still a lack of structured and explicit teaching, learning, and assessment of clinical reasoning in healthcare education. Such a training can help to improve patient safety and reduce costs.  
Goal of the project  

Consequently, the aim of this project is to fill this gap and therefore conceptualize, develop, evaluate, and disseminate a clinical reasoning curriculum in healthcare education for students and a train-the-trainer course for educators on how to teach clinical reasoning.  

Both, the train-the-trainer course and the student curriculum will leverage best practices in instruction, assessment and clinical reasoning theory and combine online and face-to-face teaching components to achieve optimal learning effects. To facilitate dissemination, the curriculum will be adaptable to existing curricula, enabling curriculum managers and educators to adopt it in a step-wise approach and integrate it into existing courses. This process will be supported by publishing guidelines.  

The project is funded by an EU Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance grant.  

The DID-ACT consortium have created this video as an introduction to the project, it´s aims, and the collective understanding and action we are trying to achieve through education:The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

More information can be found at Follow the project on LinkedIn, Twitter & ResearchGate  


Kononowicz et al (2020): The need for longitudinal clinical reasoning teaching and assessment: Results of an international survey. Medical Teacher 42(1):1-6 DOI: 10.1080/0142159X.2019.1708293  

World Health Organization (2016): Diagnostic Errors: Technical Series on Safer Primary Care. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.  


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