The frailties of our cognition are long established and whilst it may not be possible, or even desirable, to have all clinicians thinking alike, we must acknowledge these faults inherent in human thinking and make deliberate efforts to mitigate them. What follows are six simple questions that attempt to trigger a more reflective process by diagnosticians and potentially reduce the impact of erroneous thinking.
Problem solving is a key part of what we do as doctors: that’s what the diagnostic process is. As seniors it is our responsibility to help teach this skill and train our junior colleagues in it but do we actually understand how our brains solve problems and how that might apply to our clinical practice?
This is a very briefly summary of evidence based learning strategies and then my suggestion of how we can apply them to our busy, everyday clinical practice. This is not meant as a substitute for quality time spent with an experienced educator but it is something we can do for ourselves to help compliment and consolidate any formal learning that we receive.
Medical Students these days don’t seem to know anything!’ These are the words of despair, or variations on them, that I’ve heard said by senior colleagues both at work and on social media in the last few weeks. The root of their discontent was simply that, when asked a factual question that the senior doctor believed the student should know the answer to, they couldn't. Are they correct? Has something gone wrong? Are this generation of students not being taught correctly or do they just not value factual knowledge?