Four Ways to Practice Teaching as a Medical Student

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?

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Attending Medical School on Foreign Ground

Getting into medical school can be quite a challenge. Prospective students work hard to build a well-rounded background that will appeal to to the college of their choice, knowing that their chance of acceptance is 8.3% overall, and an abysmal 4% or less at top-tier schools. Harvard, ranked number one, accepted 3.9% of applicants, 226 of 5,804 hopefuls. State schools are far cheaper to attend and offer a better chance of acceptance, 44% of applicants.
Some students who are turned away remained determined to achieve their goals, and one way to do that is by applying to a school in another country. How does a foreign medical education compare to a U.S. education? The answers might surprise you.

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A Better Method for Medical Education?

Do students like this new model of medical education being delivered at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona?  SDN interviews current students.

A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) is changing the way medical students learn. Called a clinical presentation curricular model, their new teaching method is based on the ways patients present to physicians.

Approximately 120 presentations comprise the curriculum, which ATSU touts as a union of both basic and clinical science, with the clinical presentations organized based on the organ system to which they most logically fit (abdominal pain is covered in the gastrointestinal course). According to ATSU, this creates a complete set of organ-system based courses during the first two years of the curriculum.  The curriculum also contains courses in medical skills, osteopathic principles and practice.

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