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Fundamentals of Clinical Reasoning – UI Health

Updated: 8/31/21

Dates – March 11, 2024-April 20, 2024

This class meets most weekdays. Classroom activities will be held via Zoom. Precepting will be in person. Exact schedule to be posted closer tot he time of the course start. Classes and precepting will be held M-F 8-6 (approximately)

Students must have completed and passed all Phase 1 courses with the exception of DOCs. Students need to have sat for Step 1 prior to taking the course. Phase 2 and 3 students may also take this course. You must be referred to this course by your House advisor or OSA advisor. Course director approval is required.

Questions about prerequisites may be sent to the course director, Emily Hall, MD via email:

The purpose of this course is to provide additional support and training in key clinical skills of physicianship, including: organized history taking; targeted physical examination; patient communication; differential diagnosis construction; and interprofessional communication. This course also seeks to enhance students’ understanding of learning styles and study skills in relation to the skills listed above.

Course Objectives:

  • Enhance the key skills of clinical physicianship, including:
    • History taking
    • Physical exam skills (more limited in Covid times)
    • Differential Diagnosis construction (and reconstruction)
    • Clinical note writing
  • Patient-centered communication
  • Learn ways to organize clinical knowledge
  • Practice clinical reasoning skills learned in class
    • In standardized settings
    • In real clinical settings
  • Enhance learning and study skills

The following graduation competencies will be addressed during the course:

  1. Patient Care
    1. Obtain a medical history appropriate to the patient’s medical concerns
    2. Consider cultural and socioeconomic factors in management options
    3. Form an effective therapeutic relationship
    4. Construct a therapeutic plan for relieving pain, ameliorating suffering and directed toward specific resolution of health problems
    5. Counsel and education patients and their families
  2. Medical Knowledge
    1. Understand of the cultural factors important to health care
    2. Understand relevant legal and ethical concepts
  3. Practice-based Learning and Improvement
    1. Assess his/her strengths and weaknesses in order to improve performance and identify effective ways to address limitations and enhance expertise
    2. Access information effectively, efficiently, critically appraise the information and relate it to their patient’s health problems
    3. Admit his/her limits of knowledge, know what to do when those limits are reached, deal with uncertainty, and respect the opinion of others
    4. Recognize the need to learn is continuous
  4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
    1. Listen attentively
    2. Communicate clearly with colleagues, consultants, patients and patients’ families both orally and in writing
  5. Professionalism
    1. Respect the opinion of others
    2. Recognize the need to learn is continuous
    3. Demonstrates respect for human dignity

Instructional Features:
The elective will consist of multiple components, including:

  • interactive lectures
  • group discussions and projects
  • standardized patient encounters
  • clinical preceptorship (once per week for four hours)

Students will be required to complete assigned course readings; participate in all group discussions and activities; complete written assignments (e.g., worksheets, self-reflections and self-assessments, patient write-ups); and attend all clinical precepting sessions.

Students will be graded on a pass/fail basis.  Students will be assessed by the faculty based on their participation in class discussions and activities; participation in clinical activities (precepted clinical sessions); and required assignments. Students will also complete self-assessments at the beginning and end of the course.

Administrative Information Heading link

  • Program Number

    ELEC 506

  • Program Contacts

    Program Director: Emily Hall, M.D.

  • Program Information

    Location: TBD

    Duration: 6 weeks
    Night Call: No
    Weekends: No
    Students Accepted: Min. 2, Max. 12
    House staff Used as Faculty: No
    Inpatient/Faculty Contact: N/A
    Outpatient: Yes
    Laboratory/Independent Study: No lab
    Total Hours /Week: 30 hours per week for 6 weeks (6 credit course)