Steven J. Durning, M.D., PhD, FACP

Steven J. Durning, M.D., PhD, FACP

Steven Durning

Name: Steven J. Durning, M.D., PhD, FACP

Department of Primary Appointment: Dept. of Medicine
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Professor and Director

Email: (link sends e-mail)
Room: Room A3068

PubMed Listing


Citations on Google Scholar


Dr. Durning is a professor of medicine and pathology at the Uniformed Services University (USU) and is the Director of Graduate Programs in Health Professions Education. He received his MD degree from the University of Pittsburgh and he practices general internal medicine. He received his PhD from Maastricht University, which addressed the influence of contextual factors on clinical reasoning. As an educator, mentors graduate students and faculty, teaches in the HPE program and also directs a second year medical school course on clinical reasoning. Dr. Durning holds appointments in the departments of medicine and pathology.

As a researcher, Dr. Durning has been the principal or associate investigator on a number of grants totaling several million dollars. His current research interests include enhancing our understanding of clinical reasoning and its assessment to include unraveling the phenomenon of context specificity and incorporating biologic measures into this empirical work.

Dr. Durning is the co-principal investigator of USU's Long Term Career Outcome Study. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 20 book chapters, and has edited 5 books. Dr. Durning serves on a number of national and international organizations and is the Deputy Editor for Research for Academic Medicine.

Research Interests

Dr. Durning's research interests include clinical reasoning, assessment of individual learners, and program evaluation and educational theory.


  • Director-Clinical Reasoning Course
  • Instructs medical students, residents, and graduate students in areas of expertise
  • Systems Seminar
  • Theory to practice in HPE: Advanced Learning Theories
  • MHPE and PhD in HPE Seminar
  • MHPE and PhD in HPE Practicum

Areas of Expertise

  • Medical specialty in internal medicine
  • Research expertise in clinical reasoning, assessment of individual learners and programs and educational theories

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor, Academic Medicine
  • Consultant, Cognitive Assessment, American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Executive Committee Member (US representative) AMEE
  • Founding Research Committee Chair, AMEE
  • Past-Chair, AAMC Medical Education Scholarship Research and Evaluation (MESRE) Section
  • Co-chair, USMLE Introduction to Clinical Medicine, Physical Diagnosis, and Communication Test Material Development Committee
  • Member, Board of Directors, American Board of Medical Specialties Research and Education Foundation

Select Publications

  1. Gruppen L, Durning SJ. Needles and haystacks: finding funding for medical education research. Academic Medicine, 2016;91:480-484.
  2. Durning SJ, Costanzo M, Beckman T, Artino AR, Roy MJ, Van der Vleuten C, Holmboe ES, Lipner R. Functional neuroimaging correlates of thinking flexibility and knowledge structure in memory: exploring the relationships between clinical reasoning and diagnostic thinking. Medical Teacher, 2016; 38:570-577.
  3. Durning SJ, Dong T, LaRochelle JS, Artino AR, Gilliland WR, DeZee KJ, Saguil A, Cruess DF, Picho K, McManigle JE. The Long-Term Career Outcome Study: Lessons Learned and Implications for Educational Practice. Military Medicine, 2015;180(Suppl):164-170.
  4. McBee E, Ratcliffe T, Picho K, Artino AR, Schuwirth L, Kelly W, Masel J, van der Vleuten C and Durning SJ. Consequences of contextual factors on clinical reasoning in resident physicians. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 2015; 20:1225-36.
  5. Durning SJ, Dong T, Artino AR, van der Vleuten C, and Schuwirth L. Dual process theory and experts’ reasoning: exploring thinking on national multiple-choice questions. Perspectives in Medical Education, 2015;4:168-175.
  6. Durning SJ, Kelly W, Costanzo ME, Artino AR, van der Vleuten C, Beckman TJ, Roy MJ, Holmboe ES, Wittich CW, Schuwirth L. Relationship of Neuroimaging to Typical Sleep Times During a Clinical Reasoning Task: A Pilot Study. Military Medicine, 2015;180(Suppl):129-135.
  7. Durning SJ, Dong T, Hemmer PA, Gilliland WR, Cruess DF, Boulet JR, Pangaro LN. Are Commonly Used Premedical School or Medical School Measures Associated With Board Certification? Military Medicine, 2015;180 (Suppl):18-23.
  8. Harris E, Durning SJ, Holmboe E. A measured approach to enhancing the non-clinical skills of US MDs. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 2015;7:133.
  9. Durning SJ, Costanzo ME, Artino AR, Graner J, van der Vleuten C, Beckman TJ, Wittich CM, Roy MJ, Holmboe ES, Lipner R, Schuwirth L. Neural basis of non-analytical reasoning expertise during clinical evaluation. Brain and Behavior, 2015;5;1-10.
  10. Durning SJ, Gruppen L. Learning and Instruction: The world inside of the head or the head inside of the world? Medical Education, 2015;49:351-2.
  11. Artino AR, Gilliland WR, Cruess DF, Durning SJ. America’s Medical School: 5,000 Graduates Since the “First Class”. Military Medicine, 2015;180 (Suppl):1-3.
  12. Dong T, Swygert KA, Durning SJ, Saguil A, Gilliland WR, Cruess DF, DeZee K, LaRochelle J, Artino AR. Validity evidence for medical school OSCES: associations with USMLE step examinations. Teaching and Learning in Medicine; 2014; 26(4): 379-86
  13. Durning SJ, Costanzo M, Artino AR, van der Vleuten C, Beckman TJ, Holmboe E, Roy MJ, Schuwirth L. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to improve how we understand, teach and assess clinical reasoning. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 2014;34:84-90.
  14. Durning SJ, Costanzo M, Artino AR, Dyrbye LN, Beckman TJ, Schuwirth L, Holmboe E, Roy MJ, Wittich CM, Lipner RS and van der Vleuten C. Functional neuroimaging correlates of burnout among internal medicine residents and faculty members. Frontiers in Affective Disorders and Psychosomatic Research, 2013;4:131-6.
  15. Durning SJ, Ratcliffe TR, Artino AR, Beckman TJ, Holmboe E, van der Vleuten C, Lipner R, and Schuwirth LT. How Is Clinical Reasoning Developed, Maintained, and Objectively Assessed? Views from Expert Internists and Internal Medicine Interns. Journal of Continuing Education for the Health Professions, 2013; 33:215-23. 
  16. Durning SJ, Artino AR, van der Vleuten C, Schuwirth L. Clarifying assumptions to enhance our understanding and assessment of clinical reasoning. Academic Medicine, 2013;88:442-8.
  17. Durning SJ, Artino AR, Dong T, Cruess D, Gilliland WR, DeZee K, Waechter D, McManigle J. The Long-Term Career Outcome Study (LTCOS): what have we learned from 40 years of military medical education and where should we go? Military Medicine, 2012;177(Suppl.):81-6.
  18. Durning SJ, Artino AR. Situativity theory: A perspective on how participants and the environment can interact. Medical Teacher, 2011;33:188-199.
  19. Durning SJ, Artino Jr AR, Pangaro L, Van der Vleuten CPM, Schuwirth LWT. Context and clinical reasoning: understanding the perspective of the expert’s voice. Medical Education 2011;45:927-38.
  20. Artino AR, Durning SJ, Waechter DM, Leary KL, and Gilliland WR. Broadening Our Understanding of Clinical Quality: From Attribution Error to Situated Cognition. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2012;2:167-169.
  21. Durning SJ, LaRochelle J, Pangaro L, Artino AR, Boulet J, van der Vleuten C, Hemmer P, Denton G, Schuwith L. Does the Authenticity of Preclinical Teaching Format Affect Subsequent Clinical Clerkship Outcomes? A Prospective Randomized Crossover Trial. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 2012; 24:177-182.
  22. Durning SJ, Artino AR, Pangaro LN, van der Vleuten C, Schuwirth L. Context and clinical reasoning: understanding the situation from the perspective of the expert’s voice. Medical Education 2011;45:927-938.
  23. Durning SJ, Artino AR, Boulet J, Dorrance K, van der Vleuten C, and Schuwirth L. The Impact of Selected Contextual Factors on Experts’ Clinical Reasoning Performance. Advances in Health Science Education, 2012; 17:65-79.
  24. Durning SJ, Artino AR, Boulet J, LaRochelle J, van der Vleuten C, Arze B, Schuwirth L. The Feasibility, Reliability, and Validity of a Post-encounter Form for Evaluating Clinical Reasoning. Medical Teacher, 2012; 34:30-37.