Theory Meets Practice in the Design of E-Support for Junior Registrar Doctors

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Anne Marie Kanstrup Niels Boye


The paper presents a model that operates between theory and practice through the design of a mobile application for learning support, which was developed for junior registrar doctors on a medical ward. The nature of junior doctors’ clinical education is learning while producing. While they have a large pool of theoretical knowledge, they must make that knowledge operational for diagnostic and therapeutic considerations and procedures. In order to aid this development, the authors consider models for understanding the process of operating between the work of medicine and medical knowledge. Their design problem led them to a plan in which they identified and synthesized the links between abstract theoretical models and day-to-day practice in medicine, within the constraints of hardware and software in a mobile application, which was designed to support junior registrar doctors in their clinical training. In doing so, a shared language of the design domain within a team of physicians and interaction designers emerged. The paper describes a process where there is no 1:1 relationship between theory and practice and, consequently, suggests the need to understanding the domains of medicine and design in this light.

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