Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (3):173-179 (2009)

William E. Stempsey
College of the Holy Cross
This article is an introduction to a special issue of Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics on clinical reasoning. Clinical reasoning encompasses the gamut of thinking about clinical medical practice—the evaluation and management of patients’ medical problems. Theories of clinical reasoning may be normative or descriptive; that is, they may offer recommendations on how clinicians ought to think or they may simply attempt to describe how clinicians actually do think. This article briefly surveys these approaches in order to show the complexity of clinical reasoning and the inadequacy of any one theory for capturing the full richness of clinical reasoning. The authors of this issue offer both normative and descriptive elements in their accounts. Topics discussed include the importance for clinical reasoning of tacit knowing, risk assessment, narrative and hermeneutics, wisdom, and virtue epistemology.
Keywords Cinical reasoning  Descriptive theories  Narrative  Normative theories  Risk assessment  Tacit knowing  Virtue epistemology  Wisdom
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-009-9110-8
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References found in this work BETA

Competing Conceptions of Diagnostic Reasoning – is There a Way Out?Reidun Førde - 1998 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (1):59-72.
Introduction to Clinical Reasoning.Alison Round - 2001 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 7 (2):109-117.

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Quantifying Judicious Use of Health Information Technology.Sandro Tsang - 2013 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (2):393-399.

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