One reason for the occurrence of such errors is a lack of clinical reasoning skills, a core competency that medical students have to learn during their studies (Norman 2005, Scott 2009).
Clinical reasoning is often taught in face-to-face courses such as bedside-teaching, problem-based tutorials or during internships. Since the early nineties virtual patients (VPs) became more and more important in medical education to teach clinical reasoning skills (Cook 2009).
The knowledge gap this project addresses was raised by Cook et al. (2009, 2010) and, until know, remains unaddressed. He concluded that there is no evidence how VP design variations influence clinical reasoning acquisition and that it is not fully understood how VPs teach clinical reasoning and how this process could be improved.