Associate Professor HSLIC, University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico
Objectives: The clinical reasoning process aimed at making an accurate diagnosis represents a complex activity. No studies to date have reported on how medical students harness existing information resources in their clinical reasoning courses to arrive at correct diagnoses.
Methods: Retrospective cohort study. An anonymous survey asked students to recall their most useful information resources halfway through their three clinical reasoning courses. Students then were asked to evaluate the comparative usefulness of these selected resources. Finally, students reported on those resources that they no longer found useful. This survey sought to learn what information resources medical students value so that librarians can provide the best possible instructional and collection resources.
Results: 69 of the 107 students enrolled in the Clinical Reasoning 2 course completed the three-part survey (64.5% response rate). Students frequently mentioned finding point-of-care tools, general web browsers, journal articles, course materials, and textbooks to be useful. When forced to rank their preferences students added medical society websites and the diagnostic tool Diagnosaurus in AccessMedicine. Student halfway through their three courses no longer found medical licensure exam review guides, patient-oriented sources, or course lecture notes to be helpful.
Conclusions: Medical students halfway their three clinical reasoning courses provided surprising results as well as some expected results in this retrospective survey.