“I’m not sure what’s going on with this patient,” MS-3 Samir says, as he concludes his disorganized presentation to his attending, Dr. Gonzales. Dr. Gonzales listens and astutely picks up on the needle diagnosis in the haystack of his cacophony. At this point, Dr. Gonzales has two choices:
- She can authoritatively correct Samir, give him the answer, and tell him how he just didn’t cut it, or
- She can nurture scientific inquiry and lead him to process towards the correct diagnosis with some educational tactics.
“So let me get this straight,” she replies. “You’ve got a person with fever, anorexia and migratory abdominal pain that ends up in the right lower quadrant… Hmmmm. I think this sounds like something important, but I’m just not able to put my finger on it. What do you think?” she responds. Samir ponders, then retorts, “appendicitis?” “Oh yes, that might be what’s going on here; good call!” replies Dr. Gonzalez. What did Dr. Gonzales do? She successfully utilized the Columbo Tactic. So, what is the Columbo Tactic, and why should you consider implementing this clinical teaching approach? Read more →