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Abstract:

What exactly is medical expertise? Is it a kind of cognition, or action, or a combination of both? In this Neuroethics informed presentation three stages of clinical practice, (patient diagnosis, evaluation of possible therapies, and deciding the best course of action in the particular circumstance) are analyzed in terms of three identified components of medical expertise: cognition, motoric action, and interpersonal relations. Insights from contemporary neuroscience will be correlated with each level of medical expertise. This analysis will highlight the conception that as a form of practical wisdom, medical expertise cannot be fully analyzed in terms of cognition alone. A full understanding of medical expertise requires acknowledging the important role of intentionality in action and other forms of pre-reflective knowing in clinical practice.