Dorte Guldbrand Nielsen

The relationship between immediate relevant basic science knowledge and clinical knowledge: physiology knowledge and transthoracic echocardiography image interpretation

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Two major views on the relationship between basic science knowledge and clinical knowledge stand out; the Two-world view seeing basic science and clinical science as two separate knowledge bases and the encapsulated knowledge view stating that basic science knowledge plays an overt role being encapsulated in the clinical knowledge. However, resent research has implied that a more complex relationship between the two knowledge bases exists. In this study, we explore the relationship between immediate relevant basic science (physiology) and clinical knowledge within a specific domain of medicine (echocardiography). Twenty eight medical students in their 3rd year and 45 physicians (15 interns, 15 cardiology residents and 15 cardiology consultants) took a multiple-choice test of physiology knowledge. The physicians also viewed images of a transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) examination and completed a checklist of possible pathologies found. A total score for each participant was calculated for the physiology test, and for all physicians also for the TTE checklist. Consultants scored significantly higher on the physiology test than did medical students and interns. A significant correlation between physiology test scores and TTE checklist scores was found for the cardiology residents only. Basic science knowledge of immediate relevance for daily clinical work expands with increased work experience within a specific domain. Consultants showed no relationship between physiology knowledge and TTE interpretation indicating that experts do not use basic science knowledge in routine daily practice, but knowledge of immediate relevance remains ready for use.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Pages (from-to)501
Number of pages513
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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