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J Vet Med Educ. 2003 Fall;30(3):236-46.

Cognitive processes of second-year veterinary students in clinical case resolution.

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Mississippi StateUniversity, College of Veterinary Medicine, USA.


Researchers have established a general understanding of the cognitive processes of individuals and have identified expert and novice problem-solving differences. This study was directed towards an evaluation of the problem-solving abilities of a cohort of students completing their second year of veterinary study in a primarily lecture-based curriculum. Problem-solving abilities were evaluated by analysis of an audiotaped think aloud of students resolving a clinical case that was progressively disclosed. Transcripts of the articulated thoughts were analyzed using a novel taxonomy to understand the problem-solving process used by the students. Although all students were at the same level of training, a variety of problem-solving strategies were identified. Comparison to prior research revealed that the students exhibited characteristics consistent with novice problem solvers when faced with ill-defined problems, though no single, consistent pattern was evident.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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