Clinical Reasoning and Knowledge Organization: Bridging the Gap Between Medical Education and Neurocognitive Science

Palma J. Longo, Venetia L Orcutt, Kassidy James, John Kane, Veronica Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


PURPOSE: The purpose of this pilot study was 2-fold. The first was to investigate the conceptual relationship between previously validated methodologies. The second was to establish a linkage between medical education research and current neurocognitive science that accounts for knowledge organization during the clinical reasoning process. METHODS: Transcripts of Think Aloud interviews conducted after an objective structured clinical examination (n = 12) were coded and analyzed into 3 clinical reasoning competencies (semantic, diagnostic, and knowledge network organization). Correlational analyses were conducted to establish relationships between the 2 methodologies. Analyses of variance examined group differences. RESULTS: Significant correlations with large effect sizes were found between semantic, diagnostic, and knowledge network organization variables. Analysis of variance results approach significant difference in the knowledge network organization between weak versus strong diagnosticians. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge network organization measurement can be used to discern differences in clinical reasoning and may offer explanations for the variation in health professionals' diagnostic performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalThe journal of physician assistant education : the official journal of the Physician Assistant Education Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Medical Assisting and Transcription

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