Critical Thinking in Medical Education Missions


  • J Dwight Phillips Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  • Mary Hermiz World Gospel Mission, Ohio, USA
  • Laura Smelter Christian Health Service Corps
  • James D Smith Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon



medical education, critical thinking, cross-cultural training


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. 

Author Biographies

J Dwight Phillips, Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Professor of Pediatrics

Mary Hermiz, World Gospel Mission, Ohio, USA

RN, MSN, EdD, Missionary Emeritus, World Gospel Mission, Ohio, USA

Laura Smelter, Christian Health Service Corps

Director of Training, Christian Health Service Corps, Texas, USA

James D Smith, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon

MD, Professor Emeritus, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA


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How to Cite

Phillips, J. D., Hermiz, M., Smelter, L., & Smith, J. D. (2019). Critical Thinking in Medical Education Missions. Christian Journal for Global Health, 6(1), 79–85.

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