7+ Year Member
May 2, 2012
"One flaw in contemporary medical education is the growing tendency to treat learners as though they were a hazardous material from which patients require protection. Many medical students gain remarkably little practical, hands-on experience in caring for patients—the very thing that future physicians need most. Even the very brightest and most talented and enthusiastic people cannot get better at something they never do."

"Medical education increasingly resembles a form of mass production, in which homogenization is the order of the day. The more each student looks like every other, we suppose, the higher the quality of medical education. But in the real world of medical practice, education, and research, the key to genuine excellence is less conformity than diversity, improvisation, and innovation. The very best physicians are not clones. Far from it, each really good physician has a distinctive style."



And like that... *poof*... he's gone.
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2009
What the heck are they even advocating for in the second quoted paragraph?


Residency is ruff!
7+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2012
The South
Resident [Any Field]
What about free clinics?

Some argue that they are unethical since they allow medical students to practice on the poor, or something along those lines.
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5+ Year Member
May 13, 2013
Medical Student
Even though I am not officially in medical school yet, I think I see where the author is coming from. I didn't read the whole article, but I think he's advocating shorter pre-clinical years and more clinical opportunities, perhaps even beyond free clinics. Clinical opportunities might include learning how to negotiate with patients more effectively, understanding medical business and finance aspects, and so forth.

And he seems to promote that even clinical training should be individualized and perhaps more flexible, so that each medical student will embrace his or her own way of practicing medical services (according to personalities, styles, and values), rather than promoting a certain, standardized way of medical practice as the only way to pursue clinical excellence.

I could be wrong, but this is how I understood his perspective. Realistically, changes in academic curriculum are very slow, and some might even say it is too idealistic.

EDIT: Just finished reading the article. Basically, he wants to advocate more human relationships (with patients and faculties), more hands-on clinical learning, and less "content deliveries." Mandatory PBLs (more human interactions than traditional lectures), for example, are perceived as a waste of time by medical students, and this author seems to be promoting it instead. I agree with patient-centered learning and care, but it seems way too idealistic, excluding what the system actually values and incentivizes. Sure, advocating more human interactions might help ace clinical rotations during the 3rd year, but it also takes the time away from students studying for step 1.
I am also interested in a possibility of varied qualities of medical education throughout the nation. 56% of new fellows are said to be unable to suture, and this seems to be a problem even though not all doctors suture as a daily basis.
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7+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2010
Medical Student
Of course medical schools select for a clonal population of students. Even though mission statements, admission's essays, and the AMA tout the idea of searching for diversity and uniqueness in the medical student population, the admissions process selects for generically well-rounded applicants. Reasonable MCAT & GPA + Research + Shadowing + Volunteering = the applicant's checklist- candidates need only check each box and apply.
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