A tactic that has worked for medical researchers could soon help patients, too
despite this revolution in information, we continue to think and work like doctors from 1957. We see ourselves in a 20th century construct. And this will continue because medical students continue to learn in a system that assumes we can teach a doctor what they need to know instead of empowering them to access what they need to know.
by DOUGLAS PEREDNIA, MD
Dip Pen Anatomy by Alex Konahin.
I love the artistry that one can achieve from a simple pen. From the emotions conveyed through type to the beauty expressed in art. These dip pen works by Latvian illustrator Alex Konahin are the latest pieces to catch my eye.
Be sure to also check out Alex’s Tumblr.
Our findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that energy expenditure is consistent across a broad range of lifestyles and cultures. Of course, if we push our bodies hard enough, we can increase our energy expenditure, at least in the short term. But our bodies are complex, dynamic machines, shaped over millions of years of evolution in environments where resources were usually limited; our bodies adapt to our daily routines and find ways to keep overall energy expenditure in check.
All of this means that if we want to end obesity, we need to focus on our diet and reduce the number of calories we eat, particularly the sugars our primate brains have evolved to love. We’re getting fat because we eat too much, not because we’re sedentary. Physical activity is very important for maintaining physical and mental health, but we aren’t going to Jazzercise our way out of the obesity epidemic. (via Debunking the Hunter-Gatherer Workout - NYTimes.com)
We are told during college and medical school that we must memorize everything. With the explosion of information, however, it is more practical to know the specific question for which you need the answer for and have reliable sources. The goal is to memorize as much as possible, but also know how to find information in the most efficient manner.
Javier Benítez MD discussing the death of the textbook on Academic Life in Emergency Medicine
The last sentence of this quote represents the key to understanding how we need to restructure medical education. Our current system ONLY emphasizes memorizing information that is too numerous and too quickly out of date to be useful. We need to incorporate the judicious and efficient use of information resources into our teaching so that medical graduates are better equipped for real world medical practice.
My theory is: exams in med school and beyond should be open-book/internet, and consist of WAY more questions than you could possibly answer in the given time limit. That way, you’re tested like “real-life”: if you happen to know the answer from memory, hooray for you, and you can move on to another question faster. On the other hand, if you don’t “just know it”, but you’re still really good at integrating the data and using your resources to find an answer, you can still answer a bunch of questions correctly. Real life, baby.
You may feel like technology is amazing and it’s moving so very fast and it surely is. But as a diabetic who relies on technology to stay alive as along as I possibly can, it feels like nothing has changed in 20 years.
You do not see a lot of young doctors these days. Now by the time everyone is finished their residency, everyone is into their late twenties or their thirties even. When I was about your age I was ready to work. Now the training has increased, the residencies are longer, and the knowledge we expect of you grows. It kind of makes you wonder: when does it end?