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J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2014 Winter;34(1):76-82. doi: 10.1002/chp.21215.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to improve how we understand, teach, and assess clinical reasoning.


Clinical reasoning is essential to the practice of medicine. There have been many advances in the understanding of clinical reasoning and its assessment, yet current approaches have a number of important limitations. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is promising because it permits investigators to directly view the neuroanatomical changes that occur with thinking. In this article, we briefly review current approaches to assessing clinical reasoning, discuss the emerging role and utility of fMRI in understanding clinical reasoning, and suggest directions for future research, continuing education, and practice.

© 2014 The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, and the Council on Continuing Medical Education, Association for Hospital Medical Education.


assessment; clinical reasoning; evaluation-educational intervention; fMRI; innovative educational interventions

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