Of course since I plan on pursuing a career in medicine I love the natural sciences and believe they are key for developing a solid foundation in medicine. But I don't think the way in which they are taught to students who plan on going into the medical field is at all beneficial in terms of building the foundation of becoming a great doctor. Pre-med students are constantly told that memorization is not the aim of the courses we have to take to move on to applying to medical school, but I've always felt that when it comes down to it, how much information a student can cram into their memories before an exam date is the only thing we are tested on (with very few exceptions). I think that in preparation for medical school, universities should place more value on developing critical thinking, reasoning and communication skills in students as opposed to pure knowledge retention, which would be a great step towards limiting medical errors caused by doctors who do not listen to their patients and are unable to take into account the fact that although medicine is a science, our bodies are very unique and cannot be reduced down to memorized diagnostic algorithms.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Improving Medical Education
As a pre-med student I have always had my doubts about the way in which students who want to pursue medicine are prepared for medical school, and how those students who are accepted to medical school are actually chosen and trained. I've never been one to take too kindly to strict criteria or highly restrictive systems, so the whole process has always rubbed me the wrong way for various reasons. But Groopman's book really enforced my beliefs and showed me that my view on the issue is not just a result of my inherent rebelliousness, or my personal disdain for the medical school admissions and education process, but is actually a serious problem that needs to be addressed.