• Length:
    6 Weeks
  • Effort:
    2–4 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $149 USD

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  • Level:
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  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time


  • For undergraduate and graduate students in the health sciences.
  • For teachers or internship supervisors in the health sciences.

About this course

Skip About this course

The course introduces the clinical reasoning process as it is used by clinicians from different health disciplines: medicine, dentistry, nursing, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy. The course offers a step-by-step description and explanation of the process, illustrated with clinical examples. This course is of interest to both students and health professionals as they hone their knowledge and clinical reasoning skills.

The clinical reasoning process was analyzed and modeled by six clinicians from the Faculty of Medicine at Université de Montréal together with a cognitive specialist. The result of this research was a model that was first published in the journal Medical Education in April 2012(1). The research itself forms the cornerstone of the course.

(1) Source : Charlin, B., Lubarsky, S., Millette, B., Crevier, F., Audétat, M.-C., Charbonneau, A., Caire Fon, N., Hoff, L. and Bourdy, C. (2012), Clinical reasoning processes: unravelling complexity through graphical representation. Medical Education, 46: 454–463. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2012.04242.x

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn

This online course is designed to simplify a complex cognitive process in order to help learners understand and apply it and help educators support them.

Our course consists of seven modules

  1. "Real life" illustrates the clinical reasoning process from the point of view of a clinician representing each of the following disciplines: medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and nursing.
  2. "The simplified formal model" offers a symbolic representation of the process explained step by step and illustrated with clinical examples.
  3. "The formal model" is the cornerstone of this training; it is the product of an analysis of the reasoning of six clinicians. Published in 2012, the model takes the form of an interactive graphical representation. Module 3 provides a detailed reading of the formal model. By way of illustration, it is followed by a case study demonstrating each step in the process, thereby enabling the participant to engage in the experience of clinical reasoning as a whole.
  4. Collaboration, communication and scholarship are three intrinsic competencies used here as examples of how skills and abilities contribute to the clinical reasoning process. The first part provides clinical scenarios in which the clinician must mobilize intrinsic competencies to support their reasoning process. In the second part, a round table brings together clinical experts from five disciplines. Their discussions reveal the issues raised by these competencies in their respective practices.
  5. Experts in the field explain the specific "concepts" related to clinical reasoning. The presentations are in the form of informal exchanges between two of these experts.
  6. "Pitfalls" is an activity that highlights the challenges posed by clinical reasoning for the novice. Teaching suggestions are offered to learners and supervisors to facilitate navigation of more difficult sections.
  7. The "Experts' Toolbox" contains a set of invaluable resources and references as well as the latest news relating to clinical reasoning.

Good luck in the course
The MOOC-Clinical Reasoning Process teaching team

Meet your instructors

Nathalie Caire Fon
MD, CCFP, Assistant Professor and Scientific Director
Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal

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