You are here:

Diagnosing Virtual Patient Cases: Gender Differences in Novice Physicians in a Computer Based Learning Environment

, , McGill University, Canada ; , University of Utah, United States ; , McGill University, Canada

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada ISBN 978-1-939797-16-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


There has been considerable interest to better understand the nature, possible source, and affects of gender differences in education. Examining performance differences across genders can have implications from an instructional design perspective; differences, if any, can be ameliorated with the appropriate instructional delivery. This study is motivated by the question: are there performance (as measured by accuracy and efficiency of problem solving) differences in male and female novice physicians in the context of clinical reasoning? This study examines whether male and female novice physicians exhibit differences in clinical reasoning in the context of diagnosing virtual patient cases in a computer-based learning environment called BioWorld. We present results from an initial investigation of gender differences in clinical reasoning in BioWorld.


Doleck, T., Jarrell, A., Poitras, E. & Lajoie, S. (2015). Diagnosing Virtual Patient Cases: Gender Differences in Novice Physicians in a Computer Based Learning Environment. In S. Carliner, C. Fulford & N. Ostashewski (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia 2015--World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 494-498). Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved February 24, 2019 from .


View References & Citations Map


  1. Bleakley, A. (2012). Gender matters in medical education. Medical Education, 47(1), 59-70.
  2. Collins, A. (2006). Cognitive apprenticeship. In K. Sawyer (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (pp.47-60). NY: Cambridge University Press.
  3. Delany, C., & Golding, C. (2014). Teaching clinical reasoning by making thinking visible: an action research project with allied health clinical educators. BMC Medical Education, 14(1), P.20.
  4. Ericsson, K.A., & Simon, H.A. (1993). Protocol analysis.Verbal reports as data. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  5. Goss, B., Reid, K., Dodds, A. & McColl, G. (2011). Comparison of medical students' diagnostic reasoning skills in a traditional and a problem based learning curriculum. International Journal of Medical Education, 2, 87-93.
  6. Hausmann, R., Tyson, L.D., & Zahidi, S. (2013). The global gender gap report 2013. Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum.
  7. Krueger, P. (1998). Do women medical students outperform men in obstetrics and gynecology?. Academic Medicine, 73(1), 101-2.
  8. McDonough, C.M., Horgan, A., Codd, M.B., & Casey, P.R. (2000). Gender differences in the results of the final medical examination at University College Dublin. Medical Education, 34(1), 30-34.
  9. Norman, G. (2005). Research in clinical reasoning: Past history and current trends. Medical Education, 39(4), 418-427.
  10. Lajoie, S.P. (2003). Transitions and trajectories for studies of expertise. Educational Researcher, 32(8), 21–25.
  11. Lajoie, S.P. (2009). Developing professional expertise with a cognitive apprenticeship model: Examples from Avionics and Medicine. In K.A. Ericsson (Ed.). Development of Professional Expertise: Toward Measurement of Expert Performance and Design of Optimal Learning Environments (pp. 61-83). Cambridge University
  12. Simmons, B. (2010). Clinical reasoning: concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(5), 1151-1158.

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact