Medical Education Study

In the medical education study, the team investigated both the common challenges of preparing physicians for complex practice and some of the distinctive curricula, pedagogies and assessment practices that have been developed to meet these challenges. The investigation focused on the professional development of physicians-in-training at three key points in their clinical education: 1) the early exposure to “doctoring”; 2) the third year clerkships; and 3) the residency. At each level, three forms of learning were examined: learning the knowledge to think like a physician, learning skills to perform skillfully, and learning professionalism to act responsibly. Outcomes of the study include examples of innovative curricular structures, promising pedagogies and thoughtful approaches to assessment, all of which support the professional development of learners; a critique of inadequate educational practices; and a series of recommendations for strengthening clinical education.

Senior Staff

Major Publication

Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency
Molly Cooke, David M. Irby and Bridget C. O'Brien. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010.  

In the centennial year of the Carnegie Foundation's ground-breaking Flexner Report that radically changed medical education, Carnegie has released another call for reform. The authors of Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency write that a new vision is needed to drive medical education to the next level of excellence. "The future demands new approaches to shaping the minds, hands and hearts of physicians."

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