Some of these beliefs may be tied to a profession’s socialization processes and many will be tied to beliefs about ‘good thinking’ that are shared across professions, since health professionals work within shared systems  toward the same ultimate task of providing patient care.
It is the variety of ways in which critical thinking is considered by practitioners on the whole that we wanted to understand, not the formal pronouncements of what might be listed as competencies or components of critical thinking within any one profession.
This study moves away from attempting to create universal definitions of critical thinking in order to explore the tensions that surround different, converging, and competing beliefs about what critical thinking means.
In doing so, we map out conceptions of critical thinking across four health professions along with the beliefs about professional practice that underpin those conceptions.
This ‘borrowing’ of techniques offers the ability to capitalize on the open and broad approach offered by interpretive qualitative methodology .
The first author has a background in sociocultural and critical theory.
Participants were recruited through faculty or departmental listservs for educators.
Senior administrators were consulted to ensure that they were aware of and comfortable with this research taking place in their unit.
Three main conceptions of critical thinking were identified: biomedical, humanist, and social justice-oriented critical thinking.
‘Biomedical critical thinking’ was the dominant conception.