An analysis of the magnitude of clinical-reasoning deficiencies in one class.
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Clinical-reasoning ability is indispensable to a good doctor, but students are generally expected to "pick it up" in the course of their clinical clerkships. Concern by the University of Washington School of Medicine that some students did not master the concepts of clinical reasoning led to the formation of an ad hoc committee whose retrospective study on the class of 1981 is reported here by the authors. Nineteen students (11 percent of the graduating class) who were repeatedly noted by faculty members to have problems with clinical reasoning throughout their clinical clerkships were identified as a result of this study.