During the first years of medical school, we are taught a huge volume of material, covering basic sciences and organ systems. It is not until our clinical rotations that we truly begin to experience medicine in real time. Over our clinical years, we learn how to become comfortable with patients and help them become comfortable with us. Ultimately, we hone our ability to communicate knowledge to our patients. In modern medicine, we work as a team with our patients toward improvement of their health. We are the scientific experts, but require the patient’s help to learn about their expertise: the patient’s own body. For a patient to make the best decisions, we need to effectively teach patients about their situation at a level where the patient can make an informed, proper decision. How can we practice our teaching skills as medical students?
Raised in Wyoming, Jacob Adney, MD, is a third year resident physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed medical school at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, where he earned a Distinction in Medical Education. His research included analyzing the effects of smoking on myocardium.