ERIC Number: ED331386
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Expert-Novice Differences in the Role of Contextual Factors in Early Medical Diagnosis.
Hobus, Pie P. M.; And Others
This study examined reasons why novice physicians, even after 6 years of medical education, are apparently unable to utilize a patient's contextual information (age, sex, profession, previous diseases, operations, and medical therapy) in the same accurate manner in disease diagnosis as their more experienced colleagues. Sixteen family physicians, averaging 14.7 years of experience, were compared with a group of 3 final year medical students and 13 physicians who graduated within 6 months prior to the experiment. One of two conditions were used for each subject: the first condition involved revealing first, the slide showing the complaint of the patient; the second, the patient's portrait; and third, the medical card. The second condition reversed the process. The subjects were asked, during pauses between case presentations, to state a most likely preliminary diagnosis, given the information presented. Contextual information recall and diagnostic accuracy of the two groups were analyzed, revealing that the experts generated more accurate diagnoses and recalled more contextual information than the novices. It was concluded that physician experience in evaluating and diagnosing many types of illnesses was the contributing factor in the better use of patient information for diagnostic evaluations. Contains 10 references. (GLR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Boston, MA, April 16-20, 1990).