Rethinking Medical Education

The ThinkerQuestions, observations, and recommendations toward reform of the process and content

Some tips for getting around and finding items of interest.
 1. How this Blog is organized:
  • Like most blogs, this site consists mainly of postings. Each item (essay) that is added in the main window is a "post." Each one is identified with the date it was added or most recently updated, with the newest post placed at the top of the stack.
  • You, and all visitors, are encouraged to contribute "comments" on the posts and on other people's comments. At the top-right corner of each post is an indication of the number of comments related to that post that have been added, and a hot link that takes you to those comments, if there are any. That same link takes you to a window where you can add your comment. In addition, at the bottom of each page there is a pencil icon that also links to the page where you can add your comments. For more about adding your comments, please click here.
  • At the top of the main window is the Header Bar, a horizontal bar holding links that give you access to specific information, such as the post you are now reading. Those hot links are available to you at all times, at the top of every page you visit in the main window.
  • On your left of the main window, in the "Sidebar," are resources that remain available no matter which posts you are reviewing (whichever page you are on). For more about the sidebar, please see below.
  • Most of what you might want to do while visiting this blog can be done in more than one way, as I explain below.
2. How to search:
There are several ways to search for information. To search for a specific word, phrase, or person's name, take 2 quick steps: 1) Type the word(s) into the Search Box that is available in the top-right corner of every page and then press the Enter key on your keyboard. That will bring you one page that includes all postings that contain the word or phrase you requested. 2) Now do a conventional "Find". That is, on a Mac, type Apple (Cmd)-F. On a Windows PC, type Control (Ctl)-F. In each case you will find that your chosen word or phrase is highlighted on screen and you can scroll down to quickly locate each instance of the word(s) you are seeking.

There are several additional ways to search, using the Sidebar "Widgets". As suggested by their titles, each widget offers specific information. Those that can assist you with searching this blog are as follows:
  1. Categories (Topics): Each post is assigned one or more categories. That is, each post is focused on one or more of the topics in the list offered by this widget. If you are interested in a specific topic area (say, teaching), this is probably the best place to look first. You will see how many entries relate to your interest. Clicking on the category name will bring you a single page with all the posts that meet your request. They will be available in the main window, enabling you to scroll among them, in reverse chronological order (i.e., the newest one is at the top).
  2. Recent Posts: If you are a regular visitor and want to quickly see which five postings have been added most recently, this is the place to look.
  3. Recent Comments: Similarly, when returning to this site, this widget will enable you to quickly check if any comments have been added by others since your last visit.
  4. Archives: This widget presents you with a list of the dates of all postings, working forward in time (the reverse of the way in which the posts themselves are sequenced). You can look here to quickly return to a posting you had previously read, as long as you know the approximate date of that prior visit. Or you can look here to see if there were postings in the past of possible interest to you that you may have missed.
  5. Related Links: Two widgets (Related Journals/Information and Related Organizations) offer you links to resources you may find useful from other web sites. (Remember: if you visit any of these outside sites, you will need to use the "back" button, in the upper-left of your browser window, if you want to return to the page you were last visiting on this blog.)
3. Other Widgets in the Sidebar:
In addition to the search-oriented widgets described above, you will see others that serve additonal functions. The ones currently available are:
  1. Subscribe: If you want to receive an alert via email whenever a new post or comment is added, this is where you sign up. (We don't keep or use your email address for any other purpose.)
  2. Visitor Locations: This widget provides a quick glimpse of the regions of the world where the visitors to this blog are based. In addition, the sizes of the red dots provide a very rough approximation of the numbers of visitors we've had from each general location. Clicking on this map takes you to the home site of this resource where you can see a larger-scale version of the world map and its dots, enabling you to get a better sense of the information it provides. In addition, once you are at the larger map, you can click on any continent to get more detailed information on the locations of our visitors. Note: We never collect (and have no way of collecting) any personal information about those who visit this site. The map is offered only to provide a sense of the geographical diversity of those who have visited this site.
  3. A Little About Me: Since I am the creator and chief contributor of entries in this blog, I've assumed that some visitors, especially those who don't know me, might appreciate a little information about my background. The information in this widget offers a brief summary of my professional experiences, which may help you decide if you want to pay attention to what I say. At the end of that entry are links that can take you to more detailed background information about me and my career. Ultimately, I hope you will consider the quality of my ideas and suggestions on their own merits, but I'm fully aware that we have a long academic tradition of tending to pay more attention to the source than to the force of arguments. I certainly understand that you may want access to this added information about me.
TIP-1: Collapsing and expanding the Widgets in the Sidebar:
On the right end of each widget's grey title bar there is a yellow "v". Clicking on this icon will collapse or expand that widget, depending on its current state. As long as you have "cookies" enabled for sites that you reach in your browser (that is, you permit a small record of your prior visits to be stored on your computer), each widget will retain the state in which you left it (that is, open or collapsed) when you were previously here. Many people choose to leave the widgets collapsed so that they can easily see them all and select the one in which they are currently interested, without having to scroll down a long page at the beginning of their next visit. (NOTE: the "cookies" that are kept on your computer that stores this bit of information about your prior visit is not accessible by us or by anyone else, and is never used for any other purpose.)
TIP-2: Skipping the Home Page
After you've made one or more visits to this blog, and you've learned enough to navigate and search successfully, you may want to come straight to the latest postings on subsequent visits, bypassing the Home Page that comes first when you use the site's primary URL ( To do that, bookmark and use the site's secondary URL:
TIP-3: Interested in our "logo" image?
As you likely recognize, the image we selected to represent this site, to the left of our blog's title in the header, is Auguste Rodin's celebrated sculpture, The Thinker, dated 1902. If you would like to learn more about this wonderful creation, just click on the image itself. It is a hot link to the Wikipedia page about The Thinker. I took the photograph we are using.
  Hill Jason 
Hilliard Jason, MD, EdD

First posted on 9/9/08
Updated on 11/07/08
Updated on 1/18/09


  1. Anonymous  

    An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

    Mark - USMLE Solutions

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