The articulation of integration of clinical and basic sciences in concept maps: differences between experienced and resident groups

Sylvia Vink*, Jan van Tartwijk, Nico Verloop, Manon Gosselink, Erik Driessen, Jan Bolk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


To determine the content of integrated curricula, clinical concepts and the underlying basic science concepts need to be made explicit. Preconstructed concept maps are recommended for this purpose. They are mainly constructed by experts. However, concept maps constructed by residents are hypothesized to be less complex, to reveal more tacit basic science concepts and these basic science concepts are expected to be used for the organization of the maps. These hypotheses are derived from studies about knowledge development of individuals. However, integrated curricula require a high degree of cooperation between clinicians and basic scientists. This study examined whether there are consistent variations regarding the articulation of integration when groups of experienced clinicians and basic scientists and groups of residents and basic scientists-in-training construct concept maps. Seven groups of three clinicians and basic scientists on experienced level and seven such groups on resident level constructed concept maps illuminating clinical problems. They were guided by instructions that focused them on articulation of integration. The concept maps were analysed by features that described integration. Descriptive statistics showed consistent variations between the two expertise levels. The concept maps of the resident groups exceeded those of the experienced groups in articulated integration. First, they used significantly more links between clinical and basic science concepts. Second, these links connected basic science concepts with a greater variety of clinical concepts than the experienced groups. Third, although residents did not use significantly more basic science concepts, they used them significantly more frequent to organize the clinical concepts. The conclusion was drawn that not all hypotheses could be confirmed and that the resident concept maps were more elaborate than expected. This article discusses the implications for the role that residents and basic scientists-in-training might play in the construction of preconstructed concept maps and the development of integrated curricula.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-657
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Concept mapping
  • Curriculum development
  • Teacher learning
  • Integration of clinical and basic sciences
  • Expertise differences
  • Knowledge elicitation

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