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F. Stuart Leeds


Objective: To assess if medical students interested in pursuing a primary care specialty are more receptive and have a more positive attitude towards formulating differential diagnoses (DDx) using metamemory techniques (MMTs). Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of data obtained from 113 MS3 students from the Boonshoft School of Medicine. Students generated timed DDx for a clinical case before and after an instructional didactic session about MMTs. Demographic data (including intended medical specialty and attitudes towards the overall process) were collected. Paired t-test compared screened and unscreened DDx before and after the intervention. Mixed-repeated measures ANOVA compared pre- and post- intervention screened and unscreened scores by intended specialty. Results: There is a 35.7% increase in DDx before and after the MMT intervention, supporting the hypothesis that a structured course is beneficial for enhancing DDx skills. There are no significant differences in DDx increases between the PC and NPC groups (30% compared to 40%), supporting the idea that both PC and NPC-bound students benefited from the course.