The ability to form an accurate differential diagnosis is of paramount importance to the physician in training, but is a skill often relegated to practice during the clinical years of the traditional medical school curriculum. Further complicating matters is the subjective nature of what constitutes an accurate differential and the fact that a widely accepted metric or template for feedback does not currently exist. Our group created a collaborative metric that assessed differential diagnosis formation and provided feedback to 47 first-year, pre-clinical medical students through their practice of various clinical vignettes as part of the Mayo Medical School Pathology course. We found that first-year students not only improved significantly in their ability to form a more accurate differential but also reported engagement in self-directed learning as well as developing positive attitudes toward early clinical integration. Given the importance of these skills for future physicians, and the successes of our intervention, we propose that such metrics be used for guiding feedback to students learning to create differentials in the early undergraduate medical curriculum.
- Clinical skills learning outcomes
- Feedback and assessment
- General teaching and learning
- Problem-based curriculum
- Undergraduate medical education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)