The sciences of complexity and medical education

Las ciencias de la complejidad y la educación médica
Alberto Lifshitz Guinzberga, Alexandre S.F. de Pomposo García-Cohena

a Secretaría de Enseñanza Clínica e Internado Médico, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México

Recibido 10 abril 2017, Aceptado 06 junio 2017

Palabras Clave

Complejidad, Educación médica, Pensamiento complejo, Enseñanza clínica, Competencias


Complexity, Medical education, Complex thinking, Clinical teaching, Skills


In the last 20 years the relevance of the sciences of complexity in the biological sciences has become evident and medicine is no exception. There are many medical areas that already take advantage of the benefit of complex thinking in their clinical work. However, it is necessary to reflect on the complexity of medicine in the field of medical education and, more particularly, in clinical teaching. The role of complexity was considered as content, illustrated through basic concepts, conceptual oppositions, and well-known medical aphorisms. Complexity was also revised as a pedagogical strategy and a philosophy. In this way, it was shown that the presence of complex thinking in the teaching of medicine becomes increasingly essential.