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Cognitive Bias and Clinical Reasoning Pitfalls

May 10, 2016 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 am

The Academy at Harvard Medical School

Thinking about our Thinking: An Exploration of Cognitive Bias and Clinical Reasoning Pitfalls 

Kathleen Huth, MD, FRCPC
MMSc. Medical Education Candidate, Harvard Medical School Lecturer, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa  

Celeste Royce, MD
Instructor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center  

The diagnostic process is a complex activity that relies on critical thinking skills often not explicitly taught in medical school. In light of a recent report by the Institute of Medicine on diagnostic error in health care, we are called to examine our decision-making processes and potential pitfalls as a quality imperative. The Pathways curriculum at HMS has incorporated explicit teaching of clinical reasoning skills in the context of the cognitive science about how we think.

In this interactive workshop, participants will engage in activities that encourage metacognition, drawing from the psychological and behavioural economics literature. We will explore real clinical cases in which cognitive bias has been a contributing factor in patient morbidity and mortality. We intend for these reflections to serve as a springboard for discussion on debiasing strategies, as we address the challenge of developing an educational culture that is purposeful in fostering clinical reasoning skills in our learners.

Please register here.


Academy at Harvard Medical School
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Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC), HMS
260 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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