Dr. Malekzadeh added, “Finding and assessing information and knowledge is the basis for lifelong learning. Ultimately, physicians must be able to identify gaps in knowledge, actively seek resources to fill needs, and assimilate and process the information to deliver quality care for best outcomes.”
Explore this issue:January 2017
Finding and assessing information and knowledge is the basis for lifelong learning. Ultimately, physicians must be able to identify gaps in knowledge, actively seek resources to fill needs, and assimilate and process the information to deliver quality care for best outcomes. —Sonya Malekzadeh, MD
Newer Learning Techniques
Another way in which education is changing is an expanding focus on team-based learning. “Evidence shows that individuals who participate in active team-based learning have superior long-term retention of information when compared to traditional passive lecture curriculum,” Dr. Malekzadeh said (Teach Learn Med. 2005;17:85-88). “Furthermore, most physicians do not practice medicine in isolation; team-based learning in education is important for developing specific skills that are essential for success in this kind of environment. Thus, faculty are developing methods to apply and integrate knowledge beyond the traditional content-based curricula, rather than course objectives such as simply memorizing a concept.”
Marita Teng, MD, residency program director and associate professor in the department of otolaryngology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a member of the Head and Neck Institute at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, believes educating in teams helps prepare students for the real world. “Educational research shows that it’s the most effective way for the newest generations to learn,” she said (Med Teach. 2012;34:274-278). “No one functions in a vacuum; physicians collaborate in treatment teams. It’s also practical because being a physician involves having interactions with people.”
Dr. Orlowski said her organization has advocated for interprofessional education for more than a decade. “In the past, physicians worked by themselves, but today, that is not the case; they work with pharmacists, nurses, social workers, and so forth.”
Another method, simulation-based education, provides residents with educational opportunities based on their learning needs rather than the needs of their patients, and without risk to the safety or quality of patient care (Laryngoscope. 2011;121:2114–2121). “It involves using high- or low-fidelity devices to learn techniques useful for real-life surgical situations,” said Jared J. Tompkins, MD, an otolaryngologist with Advanced ENT in Rockville, Md. “It complements traditional surgical learning situations and is not intended to replace real-life learning.”
Reverse instruction, another relatively new learning concept, requires students to review material to be learned before class. “Face-to-face classroom time can then be used to clarify or reinforce key areas or areas in which students have difficulties or questions,” Dr. Medina said. “This concept, also referred to as ‘the flipped classroom,’ may prove ideal for educating young generations because of their desire to be able to learn on demand.”
What Requires Memorization?
Despite advances in technology and learning innovations, Dr. Medina maintains that otolaryngologists should have a firm understanding of certain concepts. A sound starting point is the Comprehensive Core Curriculum assembled by the American Board of Otolaryngology, based in Houston. This curriculum, a compendium of topics, diseases, and disorders that is included in the scope of knowledge for otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, is also the foundation for board certification examinations. In addition, to comply with the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, every residency program must have regularly scheduled didactic sessions and must provide the residents with goals and objectives for each assignment at each educational level.