Is It Time Yet To Redefine Medical Education?

The ins and outs of medical education are hard to imagine as an outsider to the field. However, once you are in it, it’s a rabbit hole with not escape.

Even as a lowly first year medical student, I am often embroiled in engaging articles or scintillating conversations about the state of medical education. What have we done that has worked well in the past? Is it working at its optimal capacity right now? What kind of scope do we have to improve it for our future generations of doctors?

From the times of apprenticeship as the primary way of learning the art of medicine to the current paradigms of systematized education by the 2+2 model (2 years of basic science education followed by 2 years of clinical education), we have definitely come a long way. However, like everything in the world, the new establishment comes with its own set of drawbacks.

While I am engaged in the day and night struggle to ingrain those molecular biomarkers of immunology or those atypical antipsychotics commonly prescribed for schizophrenia, the context of it all often seems out of reach. I constantly question myself: How does this all apply to a patient? This imagination process is often unfortunately left to the individual student, pending future patient contact in 2 years time.

So what can really be done to improve the current setup so as to produce better doctors who can deliver more effective care while keeping up with the persistent development of knowledge in the field? As you listen to Lawrence Sherman in the one of the best TED Talks below, keep some key points in the back of your mind: the value of early hands-on clinical education in an emergency setting as a springboard for future practice, including the patient from day one each step of the way in the process, and promoting a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to the delivery of medicine as a whole.

Even with this potential new model, there are definite drawbacks that we will encounter along the way. Nevertheless, it is a model worthy of discussion.

How much does our medical education system need innovation? Share your thoughts! If you want to learn more, read more on how much medical education is actually necessary.

 

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Yash Pandya

Yash Pandya is a science writer at The "Almost" Doctor's Channel. He is a rising third-year student at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Emergency Medicine with minors in Neuroscience and Chemistry. Yash plans on attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Fall 2016 with guaranteed admission. In addition to the usual humdrum of academic involvement, Yash loves to play Ping Pong, catch up on the latest "Big Bang Theory," and travel. Having lived in India for half his lifetime, Yash aspires to expand his horizons into international healthcare by practicing medicine globally.

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