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Enhancing clinical decision-making skills for health professional students using mindfulness practice

Wednesday 3 July: 5:30pm – 7:00pm, poster session



Louise Breheny
UNSW, Australia



Socrates is arguably regarded as the father of modern philosophy, for his brilliance at posing philosophical questions and handing the prospect of discovering truth into the hands of his students, in particular to Plato.  His celebrity in Ancient Greece may possibly be likened to modern day gadflys, (Badlands,Baker, 2017) the American political satirists, on the topic of Trump’s America, around the narrative of ‘who should we trust?’ ‘Which is the fake news?’  I posit this blogsite discourse simple analysis to embark on examining learning and exploring knowledge acquisition, within from both a scientific and humanist construct. I am keen to view the similarities of the broader Socratic philosophical enquiry around beliefs and new knowledge into the medical and health setting, and how students may develop improved skills in problem-solving through to collaboration in practice, through mindfulness meditation. As part of this practice, I wish to pursue my research impulse into finding if this practice will enhance health professional students’ focus on improved critical thinking for clinical decision-making.


Well-being and success & Learning

Educational research psychologist, Dr Benjamin Bloom in 1956 created a model, Bloom’s Taxonomy, to promote higher forms of thinking in education, outlining the importance of developing more complex processing skills, from initial stages of memorisation of facts, to comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation and creation of new knowledge and meaning. I reflect on my own learning journey and observe the similar challenges I faced in my early biomedical science studies, which continue to be experienced by students in the health and science disciplines. In my research I wish to explore the lived experience of early stage health science students, improve the process of problem solving and decision making for practice capability, with a type of cognitive training.


Intended Outcome

My proposal is to explore if an intervention of daily mindfulness meditation (MM) practice, can enhance problem-solving and clinical reasoning for health professional students, examining the simulated learning setting in class. The project involves a selection of volunteer health professional (HP) first year students to participate in a pilot study, where participants are instructed in learning a simple daily practice of mindful meditation outside classroom. I plan to explore the effects/results that the practice has for the participants over a series of 3 weeks, analysing descriptive data collected on reported benefits-changes in mental focus and clarity that may enable improved problem-solving in simulated case -based learning in class.


Presentation topic

Poster session

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