Differentiating the Elements of Clinical Thinking

Caroline Faucher, OD, PhD


Abstract

Clinical judgment, clinical reasoning, clinical thinking, critical thinking and decision-making are often used concurrently or interchangeably in the literature, which can lead to confusion. This article is a succinct review, by no means an exhaustive one, of these various concepts related to clinical practice in the health professions in order to distinguish them from each other. Moreover, the need for research on these subjects for optometry is highlighted so that schools and colleges of optometry can adapt their teaching and assessment methods to the specific context of the optometric profession.

Key Words: clinical judgment, clinical reasoning, clinical thinking, critical thinking, decision-making, optometric education

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