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ACCELERATED Curriculums ??

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Nirvana, Oct 11, 2001.

  1. Nirvana

    Nirvana Senior Member
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    I copied this quote from elsewhere. Can posters please expand upon this list of med schools with accelerated curriculums?

    So far, Duke, Baylor, & Penn have been mentioned.

    Is Hopkins another one to be added to this list?

    Any others?????????????? Thanks!

     
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  3. lipoyl

    lipoyl Member
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    Yes Hopkins does finish basic sciences in less than 2 years. Plus there is generally more elective time in 4th year than other schools have, which is nice.
     
  4. old_one

    old_one Member
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    Would a normal schedule be better in some ways than an accelerated schedule because they teach the minimum of what's needed to do well on the boards?

    Couldn't the additional information taught in accelerated schedules just add more stress and take away time that could otherwise be used to study for the boards?
     
  5. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Old_one,
    Accelerated schedules are becoming a trend in medical schools. UCSF, for example, redesigned the curriculum to end earlier (in April) to give students time to go over consolidation cases (vignettes) and study for the boards. We are in the Prologue block right now. They managed to crunch anatomy and histology down into 6 weeks. We are also learning some physiology, pharmacology, cell biology, and behavior/ethics.

    I think the accelerated schedules tend to increase stress, but are usually geared toward teaching things that are more clinically relevant. The style tends to emphasize independent learning with fewer class hours. Of course, this really depends on the school's particular curriculum.

    Hope this helps! :D

     
  6. droliver

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    in re. to the above post:

    You cannot hope to learn any meaningful mastery of anatomy and histology/cell biology in just 6 weeks. This level of condensation of the curiculum is doing a diservice to its students.
     
  7. cg1

    cg1 Senior Member
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    First of all. Is this a true statement? If a school doesn't have the accelerated curriculum, are they teaching enough for a student to ace the boards?

    If so, then, even if it's a "trend" for schools to become accelerated, it sounds like there's just more to learn...which is great if the students didn't have to compete against the scores of non-accelerated schools, but they DO have to compete with them for Residency spots.

    Along these lines, I've heard that our U.S. schools (and I'm not talking about just med schools), in general, have the bad habit of trying to cram as many subjects down a student's throat, even if it means that the subjects will be taught at a more shallow level and not delve into the details as much.

    I think there's something to be said for the European school system that focuses on less subjects, but goes into great depth for each subject. The students don't have to juggle as much and get more "meaning" out of each class. Less is more.
     
  8. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    While I certainly agree that 6 weeks is a pretty short time to learn anatomy, I think we also will be learning some relevant anatomy in terms of pathologic states when we get to those blocks (i.e. Organ Systems: Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Renal). In some ways, I don't know if it's really necessary to learn anatomy in such great detail, as students tend to forget much of it anyway and many of the details are not clinically relevant. Still, it's a tall order to be doing the abdomen in 3 days and starting the pelvis in the same week. My brain's hurting! :eek:
     
  9. old_one

    old_one Member
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    Thanks Vader.
    "We are also learning some physiology, pharmacology, cell biology, and behavior/ethics."

    But aren't those also taught in a "normal" scheduled med school?

    "I think the accelerated schedules tend to increase stress, but are usually geared toward teaching things that are more clinically relevant."

    So they'll help a student once they get into rotations, but what about for the boards? Are there clinical questions on the boards?

    Aren't the boards important in that a student would want to just concentrate on topics that are asked on them and not want to get "ahead of themselves"?
     
  10. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    The USMLE Step 1 tends to ask questions in the form of clinical vignettes. In giving yourself time to have some clinical experience/decision making before the exam, the idea is that you will be better prepared. This of course is a matter of opinion and certainly not true for everyone. It would be interesting to see comparisons of board scores from students in "accelerated" versus "non-accelerated" programs. My hunch would be that students do fine either way. It is more a matter of personal preference (i.e. what style of learning fits you best).

    It is important to realize that board scores, in the long run, are relatively unimportant compared to your ability to think and reason clinically. The focus should be on learning to become the best doctor you can be. I realize that board scores are important for securing a good residency, but it's always good (and healthy) to keep the larger picture in mind.

    Ok, now I'm getting down from the soapbox... :D

     
  11. droliver

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    This statement reflects an ignorance of how much applied anatomy is relevant to most specialties be it Pathology, Orthopedics, Medical Oncology,Surgery,Radiology, etc... Day to day I see so many poor clinical decisions by FP's, Internists, Orthopedists, You name it because they have very little insight about the relationship between anatomy and resultant pathology. Craming a subject like anatomy that really demands many months or years to learn is counterproductive. It's kind of like trying to perform a play by Shakespeare while only having read the Cliff Notes.... Concepts can be grasped like that, but the magic of the prose is never appreciated.

    And this is only the macroscopic anatomy we're talking about! Microscopic anatomy is another order of magnitude
    :eek:
     
  12. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    I think you took what I said a little out of context. Anatomy is clearly important and relevant to many subspecialties. However, understanding all the fine details that an anatomist knows will not necessarily translate into better care for your patients. And like I said, in our curriculum, we will be learning additional, clinically relevant anatomy in future blocks. In a busy medical school curriculum, you cannot learn everything. The ever-increasing pace of medical knowledge and discovery necessitates that students be educated on becoming self-directed learners, rather than focusing on covering all the material.
     
  13. droliver

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    Again, learning "clinically-relavent anatomy" (as you phrase it)on a piece-meal basis is not the way to build a strong foundation for understanding pathology. You obviously have not had enough clinical experience to appreciate this yet, but you will see mistakes/misconceptions over & over again by people who have poor backgrounds from the preclinical med school years. At this point in your education you need to (and should want to)start with broad-based & highly detailed lessons before you start picking out the "clinically relevant" parts.
     
  14. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Your opinion seems to differ with the philosophy of many educators at U.S. medical schools. The trend in American medical education, whether anyone (including you or I) likes it or not is to integrate learning across different disciplines and start initially with building a foundation in anatomy, histology, cell biology and other sciences. Schools that have adopted such curricula, by all measures, have been very successful at preparing students for the USMLE.

    I should have also noted earlier that at the school I attend, we have the option of taking anatomy electives if we want additional exposure from that which we get in the curriculum. We are also given ample free time during the week to study and learn independently.
     

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