Invitation to Participate

I’m Dr. John Brush, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Cardiology Section of the Department of Internal Medicine at EVMS. Several years ago, I wrote a book on medical reasoning. Some people refer to medical reasoning as the “hidden curriculum” because it is not explicitly taught in most medical schools. With colleagues at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, I am involved in a research project to test ways that medical reasoning could be explicitly taught. This research could change the way we teach medical students in the future.

I would like to invite you to participate in this study. It’s all web based and would take a total of 90 minutes of your time. We will reimburse you with $30 for your time.

This is a randomized controlled trial comparing ways to instruct students about diagnostic reasoning. After enrolling on line, you will be randomized to one of three pathways. You will receive standard instructions about how to use diagnostic tests, then either a) more detailed conceptual instruction about the relation between diagnostic test characteristics and disease probability, or b) a series of systematically chosen cases showing how test characteristics can influence probability of disease or c) a control condition where you will learn more about the specific conditions used in the study. You will then be asked to interpret 20 cases by providing a diagnosis and probability before and after receiving the results of the test.

The information from the study will be analyzed and retained in a data base in an anonymous fashion. We will need contact information so that we reimburse you, but your contact information or other personal identifiers will not be retained in the data base. 

Research like this is important. Unless we put things to the test, we will never know what strategy is best, whetherit is a treatment strategy for patients, or a teaching strategy for students. Research like this will help us become more effective teachers. Participation in this research is totally voluntary. You may learn something by participating, but otherwise, participation will not affect you in any way. Thank you for considering this important research study.

John Brush, MD, FACC
Professor of Medicine
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Norfolk, VA


July 11, 2018

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