Friday, July 29, 2011

3 Basic Tenets

Problems in medical education can be solved by considering three basic tenets:

1. Inductive Reasoning:  The practice of medicine is an art of interpretation of the chief complaint and patient presentation.  Medical education has traditionally been built around deduction, i.e. creating what patients and pathologies might appear to look like from learned facts.  Education can be more efficient and effective if we teach the same way that we practice.

2. Experience: We can never know something without first experiencing it.  We must create methods to ensure a standardized clinical experience for each level of medical education.  If we understand how to give all students the opportunity to meet high standards, we can be ensured that our students have seen what we intend them to see, and therefore know what we intend them to know.  From this standard, we can then create individualized curricula that meet the diverse interests of student bodies.

3. Expectations: No educational intervention can be successful unless all parties involved are aware of what is expected of them.  Unless both students and educators are well aware of the details and scope of curricula, teaching cannot be effective.  Students cannot be expected to perform well unless “well” is defined.  Failing to properly orient students wastes time and creates angst.

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