Heuristics in Clinical Decision Making

Online Course: Heuristics in Clinical Decision Making

Improve your clinical practice by recognising and addressing your cognitive biases

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Presented by:

Dale Whelehan

Chartered Physiotherapist and PhD candidate in surgical performance and the influence of sleep deprivation

1-1.5 hours

Summarising the latest research & evidence

Trusted by over - clinicians

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Sound clinical decision making is the foundation for optimal patient management. Clinicians are forced to make many decisions under uncertainty on a daily basis. The majority of these decisions are made using heuristics - simple cognitive short-cuts that help us make decisions quickly and mostly accurately. But heuristics are also prone to error or what is otherwise known as cognitive bias. Considering the impact our decisions have on the lives of our patients, it is imperative to understand what heuristics are and which cognitive biases inform our own decision making. By reflecting on our own cognitive biases, we are able to engage strategies to mitigate (debias) them and provide better, more effective care to our patients.


This course aims to introduce you to different heuristics and cognitive biases that influence our clinical decision making and undermine the efficacy of our patient management.


This course is made up of videos, reading, discussions and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Video
  2. Reading activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.

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