Clinical reasoning needs to be explicitly addressed in health professions curricula: Recommendations from a european consortium

Ioannis Parodis*, Lina Andersson, Steven J. Durning, Inga Hege, Jure Knez, Andrzej A. Kononowicz, Marie Lidskog, Tadej Petreski, Magdalena Szopa, Samuel Edelbring

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Clinical reasoning entails the application of knowledge and skills to collect and integrate information, typically with the goal of arriving at a diagnosis and management plan based on the patient’s unique circumstances and preferences. Evidence-informed, structured, and explicit teaching and assessment of clinical reasoning in educational programs of medical and other health professions remain unmet needs. We herein summarize recommendations for clinical reasoning learning objectives (LOs), as derived from a consensus approach among European and US researchers and health professions educators. A four-step consensus approach was followed: (1) identification of a convenience sample of the most relevant and applied national LO catalogues for health professions educational programs (N = 9) from European and US countries, (2) extraction of LOs related to clinical reasoning and translation into English, (3) mapping of LOs into predefined categories developed within the Erasmus+ Developing, implementing, and disseminating an adaptive clinical reasoning curriculum for healthcare students and educators (DID-ACT) consortium, and (4) synthesis of analysis findings into recommendations for how LOs related to clinical reasoning could be presented and incorporated in LO catalogues, upon consensus. Three distinct recommendations were formulated: (1) make clinical reasoning explicit, (2) emphasize interprofessional and collaboration aspects of clinical reasoning, and (3) include aspects of teaching and assessment of clinical reasoning. In addition, the consortium understood that implementation of bilingual catalogues with English as a common language might contribute to lower heterogeneity regarding amount, structure, and level of granularity of clinical reasoning LOs across countries. These recommendations will hopefully motivate and guide initiatives towards the implementation of LOs related to clinical reasoning in existing and future LO catalogues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11202
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical reasoning
  • Curriculum development
  • Curriculum mapping
  • Health professions education
  • Medical education


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