Today’s growing body of medical knowledge outpaces even the best students’ ability to retain and memorize information. According to one estimate, the entire body of medical knowledge doubles every three or four years (Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2011;122).
Explore this issue:January 2017
“Traditional methods of early medical education may no longer be relevant in the current day,” said Sonya Malekzadeh, MD, FACS, professor of otolaryngology and residency program director at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. “However, all medical students should possess a common baseline and standardized body of knowledge. Understanding anatomy, physiology, and pathology serves as a foundation for subsequent applications of this knowledge to specialized treatments and clinical outcomes.”
“There are certain things physicians should commit to memory, while other things they should be able to figure out by thinking,” said Kevin Fung, MD, associate professor in the department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. “Patients present with problems, and our job is to solve their problems. Physicians also need training in other fundamental skills, such as communication, collaboration, team functioning, leadership, interprofessionalism, patient advocacy, health promotion, and critical appraisal.”