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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Volume 30, Issue 1


A systematic review on critical thinking in medical education

Zenobia C.Y. Chan
  • Corresponding author
  • School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Phone: +852 2766 6426, Fax: +852 2364 9663
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Published Online: 2016-04-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2015-0117



Critical thinking is the ability to raise discriminating questions in an attempt to search for better ideas, a deeper understanding and better solutions relating to a given issue.


This systematic review provides a summary of efforts that have been made to enhance and assess critical thinking in medical education.


Nine databases [Ovid MEDLINE(R), AMED, Academic Search Premier, ERIC, CINAHL, Web of Science, JSTOR, SCOPUS and PsycINFO] were searched to identify journal articles published from the start of each database to October 2012.


A total of 41 articles published from 1981 to 2012 were categorised into two main themes: (i) evaluation of current education on critical thinking and (ii) development of new strategies about critical thinking. Under each theme, the teaching strategies, assessment tools, uses of multimedia and stakeholders were analysed.


While a majority of studies developed teaching strategies and multimedia tools, a further examination of their quality and variety could yield some insights. The articles on assessment placed a greater focus on learning outcomes than on learning processes. It is expected that more research will be conducted on teacher development and students’ voices.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: critical thinking; learning outcomes; medication education; teacher development


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About the article

Received: 2015-12-04

Accepted: 2016-02-13

Published Online: 2016-04-18

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 30, Issue 1, 20150117, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2015-0117.

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