Rethinking Medical Education

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

Why is this blog named for, and focused primarily on, "medical" education?
Physicians in health care Unquestionably, many health professionals in addition to physicians are vital in preventing and managing illness. Physicians, however, have long had, and in most places continue to have, considerable influence on decisions that affect people's health, as well as on the organization and costs of the healthcare system. In many settings, physicians are still the "rate-limiting" factor in healthcare, shaping the pace and direction of change. That is, physicians, for better or worse, still have considerable monetary and political power, within their own practices and, usually, within the larger healthcare system. If constructive changes are to be made in the healthcare system, physicians need to be active partners in the process. In addition to influencing physicians' direct care of patients, the ways physicians are educated will likely remain potent factors shaping the character and direction of whatever changes in healthcare are sought and achieved.
The potential of educational reform If the education of physicians were substantially better than it usually is, the health of the public could benefit greatly. We already know enough about the main reforms that are needed to overcome many of our deficiencies in physician preparation and, ultimately, in healthcare. Much of this blog is being devoted to clarifying those deficiencies and the alternative approaches we should be considering. I'm persuaded that many of those who are in a position to make a constructive difference in the medical education process have insufficient understandings of the key issues that require their attention, or what to do about them. Perhaps these essays, enhanced by the exchanges and insights that I hope will evolve from the contributions of visitors to this site, may help enhance our general levels of understanding and, thereby, increase the possibility that our educational programs will pursue needed, worthy reforms. I encourage you to be one of the contributors to this process.

Many thanks,
  Hill Jason 
Hilliard Jason, MD, EdD
First posted on 9/17/08


  1. Mark.A.Aylward  

    Dr. Jason.

    New to your blog and someone destined to remain here for some time (I suspect), as I have a lot to learn, I am looking forward to discovering the efforts of those like yourself that find reshaping medical education something of a passion.

    Mark Aylward

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