Morning report goes virtual: learner experiences in a virtual, case-based diagnostic reasoning conference

Diagnosis (Berl). 2021 Aug 4. doi: 10.1515/dx-2021-0073. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: Participation in case-based diagnostic reasoning (DR) conferences has previously been limited to those who can attend in-person. Technological advances have enabled these conferences to migrate to virtual platforms, creating an opportunity to improve access and promote learner participation. We describe the design and evaluation of virtual morning report (VMR), a novel case-based DR conference that aimed to expand access to these conferences, leverage a virtual platform to create new opportunities for learner participation, and improve learner confidence in performing DR.

Methods: VMR took place on a videoconferencing platform. Participants included health professions students, post-graduate trainees, and practitioners. In designing VMR, we adapted concepts from the experience-based model of learning to design opportunities for learner participation. Teaching strategies were informed by information-processing and situativity theories. We evaluated learner experiences in VMR using a survey with open and closed-ended questions. Survey items focused on accessing case-based teaching conferences outside of VMR, participant perceptions of the educational value of VMR, and VMR's impact on participants' confidence in performing DR. We used thematic analysis to manually code open-ended responses and identify themes.

Results: 203 participants (30.2%) completed the survey. 141 respondents (69.5%) reported they did not otherwise have access to a DR conference. The majority of participants reported increased confidence performing DR. Respondents highlighted that VMR supplemented their education, created a supportive learning environment, and offered a sense of community.

Conclusions: VMR can expand access to DR education, create new opportunities for learner participation, and improve learner confidence in performing DR.

Keywords: case conferences; clinical teaching; diagnostic reasoning; morning report.