Assessing diagnostic reasoning: a consensus statement summarizing theory, practice, and future needs

Acad Emerg Med. 2012 Dec;19(12):1454-61. doi: 10.1111/acem.12034.


Assessment of an emergency physician (EP)'s diagnostic reasoning skills is essential for effective training and patient safety. This article summarizes the findings of the diagnostic reasoning assessment track of the 2012 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference "Education Research in Emergency Medicine: Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies for Success." Existing theories of diagnostic reasoning, as they relate to emergency medicine (EM), are outlined. Existing strategies for the assessment of diagnostic reasoning are described. Based on a review of the literature, expert thematic analysis, and iterative consensus agreement during the conference, this article summarizes current assessment gaps and prioritizes future research questions concerning the assessment of diagnostic reasoning in EM.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • Humans