Ability IX: Clinical Decision Making

The competent graduate demonstrates an understanding of and reflects on the complex processes involved in the evaluation and treatment of a patient.  The graduate can incorporate the previous eight competencies into a holistic approach to medical care.

Criteria for Assessment:

1.   Recognizes that a clinical problem exists

        -Is observant, empathetic and is able to discern relevant input
        -Practices patient centered care

2.  Classifies patients' conditions into diagnostic and management categories that permit the application of best evidence guidelines while individualizing care when circumstances warrant deviations from the standard approach to care

        -Counsels patients on risks and benefits of diagnostic tests and
         therapeutic agents
        -Uses diagnostic tests only when indicated; recognizes the implications
         of the broad and indiscriminate application of diagnostic tests and
        -Applies therapeutic measures in a thoughtful and judicious manner,
         taking into account benefits, risks and other consequences of medical

3.    Practices reflection

        -Reflects on encounters with patients and colleagues; uses reflection to
         improve quality of clinical decision making and reduce medical errors

4.    Works collaboratively in making medical decisions

        -Works and communicates effectively with nurses, pharmacists and
         other health professions to develop care plans
        -Works with other health professionals, including hospital social workers
         and clinical case managers, to facilitate patients’ access to appropriate
         community resources
        -Demonstrates respect for of other members of the health team and the
         contributions they make

5.   Uses medical informatics in medical decision making

        -Is effective in the use of technologies, including an electronic medical
         record and online resources

6.   Understands the application of quality improvement in the provision of clinical care and making clinical decisions; is aware of the types of medical errors and how they can be avoided

7.    Appreciates the advantages and pitfalls in various approaches to clinical decision making

8.    Is aware of issues in meta-cognition, the awareness and understanding of one’s thinking and cognitive processes