Clinical reasoning in traditional medicine exemplified by the clinical encounter of Korean medicine

Tae-Hun Kim, Terje Alraek, Zhaoxiang Bian, Stephen Birch, Mark Bovey, Juah Lee, Myeong Soo Lee, Nicola Robinson, Christopher Zaslawski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Clinical reasoning is generally defined to be a way of thinking for diagnostic or therapeutic decision making in clinical practice. Different cognitive models have been proposed for the clinical reasoning which takes place during the clinical encounter with a patient. This may have similarities with similar approaches used in Traditional Korean Medicine (TKM). Jinchal, the clinical encounter, has specific features in TKM and different Jinchal processes are closely related to several underlying cognitive models in clinical reasoning. It is a necessary process to see the patient, but in TKM, the method has a characteristic aspect and emphasis is placed on importance. Methods: Experts consensus were reached through panel discussion. Narrative description on the concept of clinical reasoning and explanation on Jinchal process in TKM were suggested. Results: This article analyses the Jinchal process using theoretical concepts from four authentic KM schools of clinical reasoning which are currently used in contemporary practice. Conclusion: Future research should focus on the similarities and differences in understanding clinical reasoning in KM as well as the broader field of traditional East Asian Medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100641
Number of pages8
JournalIntegrative Medicine Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • Clinical encounter
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Jinchal
  • Theoretical models
  • Traditional Korean medicine and narrative review


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