Diagnostic thinking is an important core skill that all practising doctors need to master. Taking an accurate history is the first step in this diagnostic process so it is essential that clinicians develop good history taking skills.
Developing these skills can be a struggle for medical students and it takes many years of training to perfect. Students usually learn and refine these skills by talking to patients or in simulation workshops, but these learning opportunities are often not available day-to-day.
An easier way to improve your skills
Essential Diagnosis is a game-based learning simulation that helps medical students and junior doctors improve their diagnostic thinking and history taking skills. The game is designed for 2 participants and simulates a conversation between a doctor and a patient to record the patient’s history. One player acts as the patient while the other acts as the doctor taking their medical history and diagnosing the illness or condition.
The game enables students to practise history taking in a fun and engaging way without any external support. Simple, effective and practical.
The game was originally created by Chris Baker, a final year medical student at Cardiff University:
“After developing a prototype, I tested the game on fellow students who responded positively. They felt it gave them a different perspective on the diagnostic process, generated important discussions and helped them understand the value of the questions needed to reach a diagnosis. Students showed measurable improvements in diagnostic thinking skill after engaging with the game for 60 minutes.”
It can be played with family and friends or in formal tutorial groups helping players grasp the fundamentals whilst generating discussion and enthusiasm for deeper learning.