Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: Emergency medicine (EM) has a high case turnover and acuity making it a demanding clinical reasoning domain especially for junior doctors who lack experience. We aimed to better understand their clinical reasoning using dual cognition as a guiding theory. METHODS: EM junior doctors were recruited from six hospitals in the south of England to participate in semi-structured interviews (n=20) and focus groups (n=17) based on recall of two recent cases. Transcripts were analysed using a grounded theory approach to identify themes and to develop a model of junior doctors' clinical reasoning in EM. RESULTS: Within cases, clinical reasoning occurred in three phases. In phase 1 (case framing), initial case cues and first impressions were predominantly intuitive, but checked by analytical thought and determined the urgency of clinical assessment. In phase 2 (evolving reasoning), non-analytical single cue and pattern recognitions were common which were subsequently validated by specific analytical strategies such as use of red flags. In phase 3 (ongoing uncertainty) analytical self-monitoring and reassurance strategies were used to precipitate a decision regarding discharge. CONCLUSION: We found a constant dialectic between intuitive and analytical cognition throughout the reasoning process. Our model of clinical reasoning by EM junior doctors illustrates the specific contextual manifestations of the dual cognition theory. Distinct diagnostic strategies are identified and together these give EM learners and educators a framework and vocabulary for discussion and learning about clinical reasoning.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/emermed-2015-205650

Type

Journal

Emerg Med J

Publication Date

02/2017

Volume

34

Pages

70 - 75

Keywords

clinical assessment, education, education, teaching, emergency departments, teaching, training, Adult, Decision Making, Emergency Medicine, England, Female, Focus Groups, Grounded Theory, Humans, Internship and Residency, Interviews as Topic, Male, Medical Staff, Hospital, Thinking