Critical Thinking in Medical Education Missions
Critical thinking, an essential skill for the transformation of medical knowledge into practice, should be a key component of medical education, even in cross-cultural training situations. Critical thinking is the use of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference as well as the explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment was based. Critical thinking is important because the healthcare workplace and the science on which healthcare is based continue to advance and evolve. Those who teach healthcare cross-culturally may experience challenges in teaching critical thinking to cross-cultural learners, challenges in the areas of language/communication, cultural differences, customary education approach, and educator factors. The challenges may be identified, addressed, and overcome. Tangible means of implementing training in critical thinking include the use of questions and discussions during educational sessions as well as structured systems for reflecting on causes and treatment of medical conditions.
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