Preparing students to be critical thinkers and effective communicators is essential in today’s complex health care environment. In addition to sound psychomotor skills, future healthcare providers must possess the ability to communicate confidently and effectively, not only to their patients, but to a wide range of constituents such policymakers and payers, as well as other healthcare professionals. The teaching method of debate will prepare students with such skills. Debates have the ability to reinforce and enhance knowledge in a topic area, to engage students in the learning process, to verify that students have the ability to analyze, incorporate, and apply the literature to various situations, to heighten organization and listening skills, and to boost confidence when challenged on issues by others. The purpose of this paper is to describe the utilization of structured classroom debates as a teaching strategy for critical thinking and enhancing professional communication skills.


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