Using Debates to Mimic Clinical Discussion in Experiential Education

  • Sarah A. Nisly Wingate University School of Pharmacy
  • Lisa K. Kingdon Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis
  • Kristin M. Janzen Butler University
  • Eliza A. Dy-Boarman Drake University
Keywords: experiential education, debates, pharmacy


Critical thinking and application of knowledge to an ambiguous patient care scenario are often difficult skills to cultivate in learners. Use of traditional teaching techniques (e.g. topic discussions and journal clubs) helps to develop these competencies within learners. However, alternative teaching strategies may help develop critical thinking and direct application. Debates have been used in healthcare education for decades with positive results. This paper provides supporting evidence for use of debates in pharmacy education and is designed to serve as a general guide for preceptors interested in implementing debates into the experiential setting. Specifically, the objectives are to: 1) highlight the pedagogical outcomes as reported in the literature, 2) offer practical considerations to implement debates as a teaching tool in experiential education, and 3) encourage future research and scholarship in this area.


Type: Idea Paper


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Received 2017-12-15
Published 2017-10-12