Factors contributing to uncertainty in decision making and strategies to reduce this uncertainty in undergraduate medical students.
Keywords:Clinical Decision Making, Medical Students, Oral Case Presentations, Uncertainty
Objectives: This study aims to identify the common factors that contribute towards uncertainty in decision making in undergraduate medical students and highlights the strategies that can be used to reduce this uncertainty. Study Design: Qualitative Study. Setting: Riphah International University, Avicenna Medical and Dental College, Lahore. Period: July 2020 to September 2020. Material & Methods: Four focus groups were conducted with a total of 26 participants (2 with faculty members, 2 with final year students). Data was transcribed and analyzed using ATLAS. ti software. Thematic analysis was done. Results: Two main themes were identified: faculty related and student related reasons and strategies. The most common reason for uncertainty in decision making was a lack of knowledge while the most common strategy to reduce this uncertainty was increased patient exposure and enhancing medical knowledge. Conclusion: Uncertainty is ingrained in medical education and is commonly experienced by medical students during their interaction with patients. It is essential to identify the reasons that contribute to this uncertainty in decision making and highlight strategies that reduce it in order to foster competent and confident physicians.
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