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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Rethinking medical education at the University of Toronto

Watch two medical educators from my Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. They are being interviewed by Steve Paiken of The Agenda. They rightly deplore the traditional lecture style of learning that's common in my university but their solution is more online learning.

The real problem with medical education is that much of the first two years is based on the "memorize and regurgitate" model that we know is ineffective. The best way to change the system is to use evidence-based methods that emphasize student-based learning. The idea is to teach medical students how to access information and how to interpret it rather than have them memorize facts. When teaching biochemistry, for example, it's pointless to ask medical students to take an exam based on structures and pathways that they will forget the day after the exam.

These two physicians are in charge of reforming medical education. They want to please the students by creating a new way of teaching that emphasizes the way "millennials" want to learn. (Short online courses, no lectures.) You'll watch the entire show without hearing any references to the pedagogical literature and what's known to work. Is there any evidence that undergraduate medical students are experts on medical education? (Hint: ... no.)

If this is the wave of the future, I fear that future doctors are not going to be any more informed that the current crop. They will still not be capable of critical thinking.

The way we teach needs to change, but not this way.

1 comment :

  1. The hosts name is Steve Paikin. He's a bit too smart to be a Palin.