We all love to watch experts at work, they make what they do look so effortless, and whilst it is certainly possible to learn from watching these people in action it is even better to have them explain exactly what, why and how they do what they do. Traditionally we learn most of our clinical medicine by watching experts, rows of medical students sat in the outpatient clinic or juniors following the consultant on their ward round or theatre list. So, is there a way we can make our expert thinking more visible, a way to help them understand our actions?
I have become more and more convinced of the need for clinicians to understand not just what we think but why we think what we do. Too often we concentrate on whether what we think is correct rather than asking ourselves how we got to that answer and this is particularly true when making diagnostic decisions. I decided I needed a way to help clinicians reflect upon their diagnostic thinking and so the Random Patient Generator was born.