gms | German Medical Science

Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA)

05.10. - 08.10.2011, München

Acquisition of factual knowledge by electronic flashcards and its implications for clinical reasoning

Vortrag

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Ralf Schmidmaier - Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt, Klinikum der Universität München, München, Deutschland
  • author Stephan Eiber - Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt, Klinikum der Universität München, München, Deutschland
  • author Rene Ebersbach - Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt, Klinikum der Universität München, München, Deutschland
  • author Miriam Schiller - Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt, Klinikum der Universität München, München, Deutschland
  • author Inga Hege - Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt, Klinikum der Universität München, München, Deutschland
  • author Matthias Holzer - Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt, Klinikum der Universität München, München, Deutschland
  • author Martin R. Fischer - Universität Witten/Herdecke, Fakultät für Gesundheit, Institut für Didaktik und Bildungsforschung, Witten, Deutschland

Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA). München, 05.-08.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11gma072

DOI: 10.3205/11gma072, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-11gma0724

Published: September 26, 2011

© 2011 Schmidmaier et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Outline

Text

Question: Acquisition of factual knowledge is an essential part of medical education, but correct application of this knowledge to clinical cases makes the physician.

Aim: To investigate whether learning factual knowledge with flashcards directly promotes reasoning abilities and which other factors are associated with good performance in clinical reasoning tasks.

Methods: In a controlled laboratory setting 80 medical students were exposed to electronic flashcards containing specific factual knowledge (here: nephrology). Afterwards the retention of factual knowledge (factual knowledge test) and the performance in clinical reasoning tasks (key feature problems and problem solving tasks) were evaluated. Additionally a panel of factors which might influence clinical reasoning was inquired via questionnaire.

Results: Students performed well in the factual knowledge test but worse in the reasoning tasks. No correlation between factual knowledge and reasoning ability was observed whereas performance in key feature cases was significantly correlated with performance in problem solving tasks. Results in clinical reasoning were positively influenced by cognitive capacity, motivation, clinical experience and the intended career as clinician.

Conclusion: Learning with flashcards is a suitable way to acquire factual knowledge, but does not promote reasoning abilities. In contrast factors like motivation or clinical experience support clinical reasoning.