Medical Reasoning and Thinking

Vimla L. Patel, Jose F. Arocha and Jiajie Zhang

in The Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199734689
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Medical Reasoning and Thinking

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience



The practice of medicine requires art as well as science. The latter argues for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease processes and use of scientific evidence in making patient care decisions. The study of medical reasoning and thinking underlies much of medical cognition and has been the focus of research in cognitive science and artificial intelligence in medicine. Expertise and medical knowledge organization, the directionality of reasoning, and the nature of medical errors are intricately tied to thinking and decision-making processes in medicine. With the recent advancement of technology in medicine, technology-mediated reasoning and reasoning support systems will be a focus for future research. This chapter discusses these issues within historical and current research perspectives.

Keywords: medical reasoning; directionality of reasoning; knowledge organization; expertise; medical error; technology-mediated thinking

Article.  13498 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »