Teamwork in clinical reasoning-Cooperative or parallel play?

Andrew P.J. Olson*, Steven J. Durning, Carolina Fernandez Branson, Brian Sick, Kathleen P. Lane, Joseph J. Rencic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Teamwork is fundamental for high-quality clinical reasoning and diagnosis, and many different individuals are involved in the diagnostic process. However, there are substantial gaps in how these individuals work as members of teams and, often, work is done in parallel, rather than in an integrated, collaborative fashion. In order to understand how individuals work together to create knowledge in the clinical context, it is important to consider social cognitive theories, including situated cognition and distributed cognition. In this article, the authors describe existing gaps and then describe these theories as well as common structures of teams in health care and then provide ideas for future study and improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-312
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical reasoning
  • Diagnosis
  • Education
  • Medical education


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