Residency

Tip of the week: Strategy for teaching medical knowledge

Residency Program Insider, September 6, 2011

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Link instruction in the medical interview and physical exams to clinical cases. When preclinical medical students are learning the language of clinical case presentations, physical examination techniques, and relevant epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences, faculty members should organize curricula
around clinical cases.

The traditional de-contextualized instruction of the physical examination may explain why students have difficulty selecting relevant examination components later on. Learning these skills in relationship to real clinical cases embeds relevant history and physical examination maneuvers in the diagnostic reasoning tasks of clinical training. Hypothesis-driven physical examination learning results in students identifying more diagnostically meaningful and discriminating

findings when examining standardized patients during their clinical skills assessment. Teaching purposeful
inquiry and hypothesis-driven examination supports the development of early illness scripts as students link relevant history and examination features to diagnostic hypotheses.

This week's question and answer are from A Practical Guide to Teaching and Assessing the ACGME Core Competencies.



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