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December 11, 1991

Learning Clinical Reasoning

Author Affiliations

University of California School of Medicine San Diego

University of California School of Medicine San Diego

JAMA. 1991;266(22):3203. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470220119044

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Learning Clinical Reasoning... even the title seems different. The book is unlike any of the standard texts on decision making. It starts with 10 short chapters on the key processes of clinical reasoning. The bulk of the book follows, consisting of clinical examples demonstrating these processes. Given the authors' specialty, it is not surprising that the cases concentrate in internal medicine, but the processes described are universal and therefore useful for all clinicians.

The clinical examples are not the standard case report nor are they presented in the typical clinical-pathological conference format. Instead Drs Kassirer and Kopelman present the first few sentences of the case history followed by an "expert's" response. More of the case is presented, and again the expert responds. As the case unfolds, the expert modifies his or her comments. At the end of each case, the authors present their views on the clinical reasoning process, and