A Survey on Critical Thinking Skills of medical students in Mashhad Medical School (2017-18 academic year)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Student research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad , Iran

2 Psychiatry Department, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: critical thinking plays an important role in clinical decision making and is acknowledged as a standard in medical education. This study was designed to evaluate critical thinking skills of medical students of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Methods: this observational-analytical study included the students of three stages of basic sciences and physiopathology, externs and clinical interns. Form B of California Critical Thinking Skill Test (CCTST) was used to evaluate critical thinking skills. The questionnaire included 34 multiple choice questions to evaluate five areas of inductive reasoning, comparative reasoning, analysis, evaluation and inference.
Results:  112 students with an average age of 24.22 ± 2.78 years were enrolled in the study. 53.4% were female. An average of 4.46 ± 15.89 was considered as normal by the test developers while the average score of the participants was 15.89 ± 4.46 with a minimum score of 8 and a maximum of 34; which was statistically different from the desired score (t (111) = -3.16, P < 0.002). Using one-way analysis of variance, we found no statistically significant difference between critical thinking scores of students of different academic stages (P = 0.746 (F (3,108) = 0.411)).
Conclusion: The findings show that critical thinking skills of the participants are similar with some of the universities of the country, however lacking compared with the students of the universities of other countries. Thus, educating and teaching critical thinking skills should be included in the educational curriculum.


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