Clinical Reasoning Course


Clinical reasoning is a core competency for ensuring patient safety and the quality of patient care. It is a skill, process, or outcome wherein physicians observe, collect, and interpret data to diagnose and treat patients. Problems flagged during “Physician Practice Reviews”, such as missed diagnoses and suboptimal documentation, frequently reveal gaps in clinical reasoning. This course aims to explicitly remind and refresh physicians of the foundational elements that support clinical reasoning. Participants will learn steps and tools that lead to a better clinical process and improved practice.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be equipped to:
  • Recognize the foundational elements supporting clinical reasoning
  • Access your own mental pathways for clinical processes and reasoning
  • Apply tools to self-evaluate and improve clinical reasoning

All the steps are REQUIRED for course completion.

Completion of the pre-course tests and online modules is the prerequisite for attending the workshop.

Step 1
Pre-Course Tests

Online test and survey

Step 1
Step 2

Self-paced modules with case exercises

Step 2
Step 3
Group Learning

90-minute in-person or virtual workshop

Step 3
Step 4

Online self-paced modules with case exercises

Step 4
Step 5
Group Learning

Three-month-post-workshop, 60-minute webinar

Step 5
  • It is not recommended to access the online modules on smartphones at this point as your learning experience might be compromised.
  • There are required learning activities in the modules, such as completing pre-course tests, responding to some short surveys, reviewing video materials, reviewing PDF handouts, and completing case exercises. Teaching faculty will review your interactions in these activities.
  • There are several surveys along the steps of this course. All of them start with the same question asking your learning profile ID. You don’t have to find or remember it. The unique learning profile ID # will appear for your use in this course wherever you are required to respond to a survey, and this learning profile ID is not visible to other users in ECME. We only use the responses on this question to ensure each participant’s completion of course requirements. Teaching faculty and other course participants will not have access to everyone’s original responses to the surveys. We will de-identify the survey responses when providing survey summaries for teaching use.
  • TAKE NOTES’: To make notes for your own use, click on ‘TAKE NOTES’ at the upper right corner of your screen to open the notes field. All the course notes you have made can be found in a full list in the page of ‘My Courses’.
  • MARK COMPLETE”: When you go through the course modules and topics the first time, you will notice the “MARK COMPLETE” button in a page. Make sure clicking on it when you reach the bottom of a page. After you complete all the modules of the course, the “MARK COMPLETE” will not be there anymore when you revisit the content.
  • CONTINUE RECENT ACTIVITY”: Please be aware that it will take you several hours to complete the modules. For the convenience of self-paced learning, you may exit from the middle of the course and come back later. When you log into the e-learning portal again, click on ‘Continue Recent Activity’, and you will be redirected to where you left last time.

This three-credit-per-hour Self-Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 30 Mainpro+ credits.

This activity is an Accredited Self-Assessment Program (Section 3) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by the University of Calgary Office of Continuing Medical Education & Professional Development. Participants may claim a maximum of 10 hours (credits are automatically calculated).

  • This course has received no commercial sponsorship support.
  • This course is co-developed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, the University of Calgary CME&PD, and the University of Alberta, and was planned to achieve scientific integrity, objectivity and balance.
  • Faculty and Planning Committee disclosure
Heather ArmsonMD MCE CCFP FCFPHonoraria: for The Foundations for Medical Practice Education, Executive Director

Executive Director, Foundations for Medical Practice Education

Assistant Dean, Personalized Learning, CME&PD; Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Hamid Adib AzadMD CCFPNothing to discloseClinical Assistant Professor, University of Calgary
Maria BacchusMD MSc FRCPCRoyal College International – honoraria for assessment workshopsMedical Director, Physician Support, Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, University of Calgary
Nigel FlookMD CCFP (COE) FCFPNothing to discloseSenior Medical Advisor,
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta
Shelly HowkBSc, MD, CCFP, FCFPNothing to discloseCollege of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta
Michelle MorrosMD CCFP FCFPNothing to discloseAssociate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta
David RossMD CCFP FCFPNothing to discloseAssociate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta
Efrem ViolatoMSc PhDGrant: Mitacs AccelerateGrad Research Assistantship, Faculty of Education, Educational Psychology Department, University of Alberta
Utkarsh SubnisPhD, MBBSHonoraria: HAnalytics Solutions Inc., Fresh Squeezed Ideas Inc.Education Consultant, CME&PD, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Heather Armson MD MCE CCFP FCFP (Chair)
Maria Bacchus MD MSc FRCPC 
Nigel Flook MD CCFP (COE) FCFP
Shelly Howk BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP (CPSA representative)
Michelle Morros MD CCFP FCFP
David Ross MD CCFP
Efrem Violato MSc PhD
Utkarsh Subnis PhD, MBBS (CME Representative)

This program has received educational grants from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

Materials presented are in compliance with the University of Calgary Copyright Policy, Acceptable Use of Material Protected by Copyright.
Course materials are for individual use only and not to be distributed.

For any tech issue you have in this course, please email the tech support team at