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Critical Thinking Must Be Taught in ICU

April 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm

By David Lederer, MD, MS, editor, Annals of the American Thoracic Society

Follow Dr. Lederer on Twitter @AnnalsATSEditor

Critical Thinking in Critical Care: Five Strategies to Improve Teaching and Learning in the Intensive Care Unit

In a seminar for medical educators in the April Annals of the American Thoracic Society, Margaret M. Hayes, Souvik Chatterjee, and Richard M. Schwartzstein offer a framework based in cognitive theory and their teaching experiences to teach critical thinking in the ICU to residents. They recommend and explain the need for five strategies: “make the thinking process explicit,”  “discuss cognitive biases and de-biasing strategies,” “model and teach inductive reasoning,” “use questions to stimulate critical thinking,” and “assess your learner’s critical thinking.” The authors write that “critical thinking is particularly important in the fast-paced high acuity environment” of the ICU, where medical errors can be a matter of life and death; therefore, “we believe critical thinking should be both explicitly taught and explicitly assessed.”

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