Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Improve How We Understand, Teach, and Assess Clinical Reasoning

Steven J. Durning*, Michelle Costanzo, Anthony R., Jr. Artino, Cees van der Vleuten, Thomas J. Beckman, Eric Holmboe, Michael J. Roy, Lambert Schuwirth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Clinical reasoning is essential to the practice of medicine. There have been many advances in the understanding of clinical reasoning and its assessment, yet current approaches have a number of important limitations. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is promising because it permits investigators to directly view the neuroanatomical changes that occur with thinking. In this article, we briefly review current approaches to assessing clinical reasoning, discuss the emerging role and utility of fMRI in understanding clinical reasoning, and suggest directions for future research, continuing education, and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-82
JournalJournal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • clinical reasoning
  • assessment
  • fMRI
  • evaluation-educational intervention
  • innovative educational interventions

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