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Key Feature Problem

Key Feature Problem

As a GP when a patient comes in with a problem we usually start with a blank sheet and by the end of the consultation come up with a problem list and management plan. For example a patient with abdominal pain, our list of differential diagnoses is huge. It ranges from the serious: cancers, surgical emergencies, pregnancy emergencies; to the less severe: dietary intolerances, anxiety, viruses – and any number of things in between. As the doctor you narrow down that list of differentials by using your history, examination and investigations. The thought process going through your mind as you move from one question to the next based on the clues the patient gives you is called clinical reasoning and it is largely hidden from the patient. This process of clinical reasoning is the skill that the Key Feature Problem (KFP) test examines.

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