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Clinical Reasoning

Director: Thilan Wijesekera, MD, MHS

Clinical reasoning is one of the eight overarching goals at the foundation of the curriculum and is embedded throughout the Yale curriculum from basic science courses to clinical rotations. In YSM’s Clinical Reasoning Workshop Series - a formal dedicated, longitudinal workshop series across the four-year curriculum - the main objective is to train deliberate, reflective, and collaborative clinicians who practice hypothesis-driven data collection, synthesize concise problem representations, prioritize nuanced differential diagnoses, and employ patient-centered management plans.

The workshop series has grown into a longitudinal program of more than 20 educational sessions. Students learn core clinical reasoning principles, develop schema in case discussions, engage in specialty-specific seminars with master clinicians, utilize novel technology for concept mapping, and incorporate theory-based innovation such as a Family Feud diagnostic reasoning game show. Students have not only embraced the clinical reasoning experience but have also returned as senior student facilitators and associate course directors to amplify the course’s impact. Additionally, dozens of attendings across various specialties have taught sessions or contributed to curricular materials with hundreds more participating in faculty development workshops on assessing and teaching clinical reasoning through our Teaching and Learning Center.