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Table 1 WAIS-IV index scores: capacities assessed and relevance to physicians’ job rolea

From: A preliminary investigation to explore the cognitive resources of physicians experiencing difficulty in training

WAIS Index Primary Capacities Targeted for Assessment Relevance to Physicians’ Job Role
Verbal Comprehension Index Verbal reasoning and conceptualising ability – synthesising and modelling ideas. Lexical knowledge – receptive and expressive vocabulary. General societal knowledge.
 Retrieval of verbal information from long-term storage
 Reasoning with verbal information For example: being able to explain information clearly to patients and colleagues; being able to remember the diagnostic criteria for different medical conditions; orally presenting cases and justifying decisions made in relation to care.
Perceptual Reasoning Index Interpreting and reasoning with pictorial, diagrammatic, schematic and graphical information – problems of omission and commission in pattern recognition and matching. Integration of two and three dimensional data. Hypothetico-deductive reasoning.
 Reasoning with nonverbal visual stimuli
For example: being able to interpret nonverbal information on a patient, e.g. an x-ray or scan; being able to interpret and use presenting visual symptoms to contribute towards making an informed diagnosis.
Working Memory Index Short-term auditory sequential memory for holding complex patient and colleague information in mind. Central executive working memory for mental computation, whilst drawing on information in long term memory, and then executing conclusion in ordered and logical manner. Personal organisation.
 Initial registration and holding of information (sometimes referred to as short term memory)
 The mental manipulation of information that is being held in mind (often referred to as working memory) For example: being able to listen to a patient tell you their symptoms, hold this information in mind, whilst combining it with other information from alternative sources, e.g. past medical history, information from colleagues or family members, whilst also bringing to mind the diagnostic criteria for different possible conditions.
Processing Speed Index Proofing and clerical checking. Working against the clock in time pressured situations without error. Transcribing. Fine motor precision and accuracy. Visual scanning and tracking. Holding data in the visual-spatial sketchpad aspect of working memory. Dealing with cognitive noise (Stroop).
 Processing speed with nonverbal, visual stimuli
For example: being able to quickly scan information about a patient to identify relevant details; proofing reports or clinical notes; analysing nonverbal information (e.g. figures, pictures, images) during a time-pressured exam.
  1. aAdapted from table created by Michael Lock Consultant Psychologists, 2013 and information from ‘Primary Capacities Targeted for Assessment’ taken from Lichtenberger and Kaufman (2013, Appendix B1)