Interdisciplinary expertise in medical practice: Challenges of using and producing knowledge in complex problem-solving

Mieke Boon (Corresponding Author), Sophie Jacobine van Baalen, Marleen Groenier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
348 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Clarification of interdisciplinary expertise as the ability to deal with the cognitive and epistemological challenges of multi- and interdisciplinary problem-solving—such as in developing and implementing medical technology for diagnoses and treatment of patients in collaborations between clinicians, technicians, and engineers—and of the higher-order cognitive skills needed as part of this expertise.

Method: Clarify the epistemological difficulties of combining scientific knowledge, methodologies and technologies from different disciplines in problem-solving, by drawing on recent developments in the philosophy of science.

Conclusion: We argue that interdisciplinary expertise involves the cognitive ability to connect, translate and establish links between disciplinary knowledge, as well as the metacognitive ability to understand and explain the role of the disciplinary perspective—consisting of, e.g. basic concepts, theories, models, methodologies, technologies, and specific ways of measuring, reasoning and modeling in a discipline—in how knowledge is used and produced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-677
Number of pages10
JournalMedical teacher
Issue number6
Early online date20 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Adaptive expertise
  • Interdisciplinary expertise
  • Metacognitive skills
  • Higher-order cognitive abilities
  • Epistemology
  • Problem-solving
  • Reflection
  • Disciplinary perspectives
  • Medical technology
  • Interprofessional education
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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