The Future of Medical Education

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The Future of Medical Education

Post by goliszek »

Looking at curricula at different medical schools around the country, we get some clues as to what medical education will look like in the near future. For students entering classes in 2016 and beyond, and who’ve grown up around technology and the new changes in healthcare, medical school will be nothing like it was even five years ago. Here are just some of the innovations and new changes being implemented by some of the leading schools in the nation:

A focus on technology: because today’s applicants are much more tech savvy, and since medical advances are happening at breakneck speed, medical students need technology to keep up. New buildings and spaces are being created that simulate high tech operating rooms and emergency rooms so that students can practice in real life settings. It’s no longer enough to sit in a library and simply read textbooks and journals. Many schools are supplying students with iPads and implementing iPad based curriculums, which encourage active learning and enhance participation. The University of California-Irvine School of Medicine, for example, became the first medical school to go completely digital, and in 2010 began a comprehensive, iPad-based curriculum. By 2013, they announced that the first class using this new technology scored 23 percent higher on their national exams than previous classes. Expect to see much more of these types of innovations in the future.

Combined primary care degree: since primary care is where healthcare will be focused in the coming years, more schools will be offering combined degrees so that primary care physicians can also practice in other areas of specialization. Brown University Medical School, for example, is beginning a dual degree in primary care and population health in order to prepare students for a career in which they can do both.

Accelerated M.D. degrees: schools such as the University of California Davis School of Medicine, Texas Tech University School of Medicine, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, and New York University School of Medicine are offering an accelerated three-year medical degree. Two of the main reasons that medical schools are experimenting with a 3-year degree option is to cut the cost of a medical education and to attract more students to pursue careers in primary care. These fast-track programs are not for everyone, but with projections showing that physician shortages will become drastically worse over the next ten years, more schools are looking to accelerated programs as a way to recruit and graduate students who will commit to primary care.

Problem-Based Learning: students entering medical school today are expected to have a totally different mindset when it comes to approaching their studies. The last ten years have seen more medical advances and breakthroughs than in the previous hundred years combined. The entire DNA molecule has now been sequenced, which means that we’ll be able to identify and conceivably prevent, treat, or cure almost every possible disease. The goal of problem-based learning in medicine is to help students enhance their problem-solving and learning skills. By working on real patient cases in small groups, medical students develop communication and collaboration skills, as well as becoming more flexible in how they apply their knowledge.

Integrating Research Principles: medical schools are realizing that with medical advances occurring as such a rapid pace, future physicians need to know and be able to use research principles. To do that, many schools are integrating research principles into the curriculum and involving teams of expert faculty researchers to help students solve health problems based on real-life cases. For example, at the new Oakland University Beaumont School of Medicine, established in 2011, students get extra financial aid in their fourth year if they participate in a research project of significant merit.

Skipping residency programs: some states such as Missouri are addressing the physician shortage by passing laws that would allow medical school graduates to start treating patients without having to spend an extra 3 to 6 years in a residency program. The Missouri law, for example, would issue a license to someone who has graduated from medical school within the past three years and passed the first two rounds of licensing exams within the last two years. These graduates would provide primary care services in medically underserved areas as long as they are supervised by another physician. Other states such as Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma are also enacting similar measures or considering the idea as a way to meet physician shortages.

With 144 medical schools in the United States, and nine more opening in 2016-2107, students have a wider range of options than ever. For over 100 years, medical schools have been training doctors in the same way. But that’s beginning to change, and the new trend in medical school is to revamp curricula and programs so that they reflect the changing face of healthcare and the changing dynamics of modern day students. Technology is the rage. Modern buildings and facilities that simulate real-life medical situations are becoming more common. Smaller class sizes emphasize team work and collaboration among students. And integrating the curricula with patient care early on is the wave of the future. At no time has medical school education been more exciting and challenging. For young students planning a career in medicine, the next ten years will be an incredible decade of both change and opportunity.

Reprinted from: The New Medical School Preparation & Admissions Guide, 2016,

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Re: The Future of Medical Education

Post by nupur343 »

Current Scenario of Medical Education In India :-

The present system of education follows a building block principle where each subject has its own frame, restricted to one part of the course. The disadvantages of such a system are unnecessary repetition, disjointed approach to teaching, creating confusion in students' mind. Curriculum integration, therefore, has evolved as an important strategy in medical education. An integrated curriculum provides a meaningful learning experience as learning takes place in a context (contextual learning). It also promotes a holistic approach to patients and their problems. The students study the biological and biochemical foundations of an organ system, its structural properties, reactions to disease and injury and response to treatment with the minimum possible time gap in the delivery of different elements. The impact is further heightened by providing the relevant practical and patient care experience. A disease, its diagnosis, and treatment cross the barriers of administrative convenience.

The Medical Council of India has recently made public the guidelines and regulations for Graduate Medical Education in India. The commendable revised curriculum for graduate medical education suggests many innovative and relevant changes.

However, unless the assessment of skills and competencies are well defined operationally, simply a change in curriculum will not bring about required changes in the way faculty members are likely to implement the GMR 2012. A good plan does not automatically translate into effective implementation.

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Re: The Future of Medical Education


The future of medical education is a giant topic.

My situation is that I am 16 years past the applying to medical school stage that many of the forum visitors here are experiencing. I got accepted to the main medical school in my state, went through residency in family medicine (by choice as I wanted to "be a real doctor," and now, boy do I regret it!), and have been in practice since graduating.

I also know and routinely correspond with people who are well known in the educational policy community. I have not personally published work in that discipline, but have collaborated with those that did and have merited mention in their works. I would have personally published but since I am in full-time practice, I don't have the time to do it myself. I am published in the medical scientific literature multiple times.

The current state of medical education is that it is highly inefficient and like much of postsecondary and graduate education, largely geared towards supporting the large, bloated, minimally-accountable institutions that administer it and saddling you with debt at way above market interest rates that will plague you for a long time. Residency is similar, very inefficient, abusive, but benefits the sponsoring hospital and CMS greatly.

The fact that you have to be directly supervised during everything you do during 3rd and 4th years of medical school, much of what you do during intern year, and some of what you do later, and still have to present nearly all cases to your attending until you finish residency, guarantees that you get a decent education, even with the large amount of extraneous stuff like OB and hospital medicine. I currently work in an ambulatory clinic and moonlight frequently in an urgent care which is really a fast-track ED not subject to EMTALA (we have a full lab, US/CT, and patients are routinely direct admitted for acute abdomens, MIs, etc. from the UC.) Last hospital patient I managed was in residency and same with the last OB delivery I did. That's 2 years or so I wasted on that crap that I never use.

However, go out into practice and you are considered equivalent to somebody who took 3 semesters of online courses and stood in a corner of a room while some other midlevel malpracticed for a few weeks, and boom, they're a midlevel and considered equivalent to you by the MBAs that you have to work for, since the government essentially made it impossible for you to go into practice for yourself and be able to pay back your mortgage's worth of federal student loans.

My highly educated opinion is that the ONLY thing worth doing in medicine is to be a proceduralist, and if you don't want to do that, go through the easy, short, cheap, and often online midlevel programs and earn nearly all that a physician does, but without the 20,000+ hours of abuse 3rd and 4th year medical students and residents endure, and also without the $300k in debt. Do your 300 hours of midlevel observership and pay your $40k in tuition and make 2/3 of what a non-proceduralist physician makes and without the legal liability to boot. And when you screw up, the sucker of a physician who makes only a little more than you but has 7 times the amount of loans gets sued, not you. Midlevels also only work 40 hours a work for full-time work, physicians work 55+ hours on average. I work 55 hours a week and am considered part-time, full time results in 70 hours a week of work once you consider in all of the computer box-checking that occurs before and after when the clinic is open. You cannot get paid for that, but you absolutely do get sued/fired/fined if you do not do it.

The future of medical education is that if the current trends continue, the only physicians will be surgeons and procedural specialists as midlevels of various sorts (including pharmacists and such) and rationing by waiting will take over the rest. There will be a small niche for actual physicians who know what they are doing to see cash-pay patients outside of the horribly broken system, but it's a small niche and requires a decent population of wealthy patients (DPC.) The only salvation for actual physicians (primary care) will be if the current system collapses and people have to decide between paying a large group of specialists a bunch of money for each one of their many visits to see each specialist periodically, or paying a highly skilled primary care physician such as I am one payment periodically to manage their multiple chronic diseases.

I don't count on sanity returning for several decades as history has demonstrated that the government won't give up on a failed idea until it absolutely and completely collapses (see: Venezuela.) Therefore I am trying to live frugally, pay off debt, invest wisely, and try to limp through this as best as I can. I have two kids and my wife (who is also a primary care physician) have discussed we will strongly discourage our children from going into medicine unless most or all of the post-1965 federal medical legislation is repealed.

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Re: The Future of Medical Education

Post by NehaaB »

Excellent ! I got useful information here. Thank you!

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