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Keywords:

  • conceptual instruction;
  • integrated instruction;
  • small group instruction;
  • elective instruction;
  • administrative adjustments

Abstract

A rapid expansion of new scientific information and the introduction of new technology in operative and diagnostic medicine has marked the last several decades. Medical educators, because of and parallel to these developments, initiated a search for a more effective system of presenting core material to medical students. The new educational trends, although varying somewhat from one institution to another, concentrated on the following pedagogical shifts: 1) expansion of conceptual presentation of material at the expense of detail-oriented education; 2) amplification of an integrated approach, as opposed to subject-oriented instruction; 3) scheduling of elective courses to compliment required courses in the curriculum; and 4) institution of small group instruction (i.e., problem-based learning) to actively involve students in the educational process and to develop deductive reasoning based on clinical cases. The future pedagogical system in medical schools will most likely be a combination of “classical” presentation of material combined with concept-oriented, subject-integrated and small group instruction based on either hypothetical or real clinical cases. It is imperative for the success of the new curriculum, however, that certain criteria are satisfied: 1) reorganize basic science departments to determine course ownership; 2) establish a reward system for teaching faculty; and 3) establish new course objectives. Clin. Anat. Month:233–235, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.