Episode 61: The Clinical Reasoning Series - Do clinicians think like scientists? With Dr Roger Kerry


Welcome to another episode of The Words Matter Podcast.

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I’m taking a break from the Outsider episodes to explore the area of clinical reasoning, and to kick off the series I’m speaking with Dr Roger Kerry, whom I chatted with on the podcast last year in episode 35 where we discussed causation in relation to evidence based practice (EBP) as part of the CauseHealth Series.

Roger is an Associate Professor in the Division of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham. He specialises on risks and adverse events of manual therapy, neck pain and headache as well as clinical reasoning (see his research here). He holds a PhD in Philosophy with the doctoral dissertation Causation and Evidence-Based Medicine (see here). 

So on this episode we talk about:

  • How EBP offers a backdrop to our clinical reasoning. The framework is now omnipresent across healthcare and Roger talks about how it should or could shape clinicians’ thinking, reasoning and interaction with patients.
  • Some of the main developments, issues and questions resolved and those un-resolved around EBP.
  • What it means to clinically reasoning within a EBP.
  • How EBP makes us sensitive to the different sorts (and weighting) of knowledge and evidence and we discuss the implication of this with our clinical reasoning and the potential conflicts.
  • Whether clinicians think like scientists and whether clinical reasoning sciencey?
  • The similarities and differences between the scientific method and diagnostic reasoning such as data collection, hypotheses formulation, testing and inductive and deductive reasoning.

It’s always an absolute pleasure speaking with Roger; his laid-back style defies the intense consideration he has given to the deep philosophical problems of EBP which while as clinicians we may never fully appreciate (nor necessarily are required to) they help keep us on our toes and be aware and alive to how complex clinical practice is which should motivate us to ensure that our thinking and reasoning remains sharp and purposeful.

Find Roger on Twitter @RogerKerry1

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