Friday, August 4, 2017

University Of Vermont To Phase Out Lectures In Med School : Shots - Health News : NPR

William Jeffries, a dean at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine, is leading the push to end lectures for medical students.
Courtesy of UVM Larner College of Medicine Photography

The University of Vermont is launching itself into the brave new world of Health 3.0.

Back in the last century (1964) when I matriculated at George Washington University I expected to spend almost 40 hours each week for the next two years studying basic science,  then returning to my home and spending another 4-6 hours studying for the next day's marathon lectures.  With minor modifications this method has remained until most recently.

The school has begun to phase out lectures in favor of what's known as "active learning" and plans to be done with lectures altogether by 2019.

For students starting medical school, the first year can involve a lot of time in a lecture hall. There are hundreds of terms to master and pages upon pages of notes to take.
But when the new class of medical students begins at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine next week, a lot of that learning won't take place with a professor at a lectern.

Proponents of the new curriculum state,

"The issue is that there is a lot of evidence that lectures are not the best way to accumulate the skills needed to become a scientist or a physician. We've seen much evidence in the literature, accumulated in the last decade, that shows that when you do a comparison between lectures and other methods of learning — typically called "active learning" methods — that lectures are not as efficient or not as successful in allowing students to accumulate knowledge in the same amount of time."
While several other medical schools have been using PBL or AL(Harvard Medical School) there are some who are reticent.
Below are comments from students and educators (from Redditt)

REQUIRED PBL is terrible. It's a massive waste of time. At least with recorded lectures, I could practice the type of ''active learning'' that was best FOR ME and not be stuck in aggravating, long PBL sessions where each hour yielded very little actual knowledge.
I am old school and like to read textbooks - I managed to do that by reading first, watching lectures on fast speed to make sure it all made sense and follow up by active spaced repetition and practice questions + Q/A study sessions with a close friend. If I was forced to sit in PBL for 4-6 hours/day I would not have had time to learn this way and my education would have suffered. If my medical school ever goes full PBL instead of the 1 hr/week session we have now, I would strongly voice a negative opinion.An 

My first two years of medical school had 1-2 Problem based learning modules each month. About a week before the session my school would assign a reading from one of those large 18 pound textbooks that would give us (if we read it) the foundation over the topic to be covered.
We'd then spend an hour applying these foundational concepts to 3 or 4 cases and end with a 20 minute informal lecture on the high points of the material. When organized well I think it's a valuable teaching tool. My team mates were assholes and I hated going because of this. I wouldn't want this to be 100% of my information delivery system, but it added a lot to general didactic lectures.
But your scenario sounds like garbage. Putting students in a situation that they have no foundation in is a waste of everyone's time.

Now adapting to a single model of teaching is dangerous. A university in Japan built their entire campus on the model of PBL, but between they started building and the building was finished they figures out that wasn't the best way to learn.
Then you have TBL, which seem to be a random number of letters.
Now the buzzwords are "flipped classroom" and "active learning". Yes, but is that the best use of the students time or money? I don't know.

There are US medical schools that use the 100% TBL/PBL model. Data shows that the students historically perform above average on boards, but having talked to them in person they make it sound miserable. I was rejected from my #1 choice that was one of these all PBL schools. It was a blessing in disguise.
What the studies I've read say, and what was presented at the last AMEE conference I attended, was that pretty much regardless of whichever pedagogy you elect to follow medical students will learn.
They will pretty much learn the same, and pretty much be as good physicians as those that used other methods.
There are some differences, which indicate PBL and TBL score higher on the USMLE, but at a significant cost in time and money.

It seems a combination of lecture based learning, advanced study and PBL will serve best.No one method is sufficient to educate a physician.

University Of Vermont To Phase Out Lectures In Med School : Shots - Health News : NPR
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