Expert-Recommended Resolutions for Medical Education in 2019

Ryan Syrek, MA


December 27, 2018

Resolve to educate about balance

I would like to see medical schools and residency training programs offer more education about how to balance clinical practice and administrative duties, while maintaining humanism in medicine. With so many clinical pathways to follow—and so many administrative and clerical duties—physicians have less time to get to know their patients, talk to them as human beings, and offer guidance based on their experiences and personal heuristic. Too often, doctors robotically follow algorithms or pathways when caring for patients. This is a huge challenge for the medical community; however, in order to infuse humanism in to medical care and salvage the doctor-patient relationship, realistic reforms should be put in place to help students anticipate these challenges and know how to navigate them.

Jessica Friedman, MD

Resolve to increase efficiency and democratize access

Institutions should adopt more efficient models of education (eg, blended learning). It's clear that the inefficient lecture-based curricula are on their way out and also contribute to time-based and not competency-based education, which contributes to student debt levels. I'd love to see more medical schools and residency programs innovate in meaningful ways.

Also, democratizing access to health education would empower patients. The empowered patient movement is an exciting trend in healthcare that may lead to improved outcomes. It would be great to see official medical education institutions work to democratize access to health education to further empower these patients.

Shiv M. Gaglani, MBA

Resolve to nurture

Medical students enter medical school as bright-eyed, motivated, intelligent, and passionate individuals. All too often, they exit feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and apathetic, with their compassion and drive nearly extinguished. This needs to change. Design your programs with this in mind. Do everything you can to nourish and feed medical students' passions and keep their fires for medicine burning strong.

There is no excuse for designing schedules and rotations that work medical students to their physical and emotional limits. Make sure that students get breaks to eat; drink water; and, most important, sleep. Physicians should not learn to advise their patients one way and then behave the complete opposite way themselves. Also, the data cannot be ignored: Overworked and burned-out medical students and physicians cannot provide adequate care for their patients. It's also simply an inhumane process. Find another way!

Encourage free thinking, and reinforce the importance of different opinions and approaches to solving problems. Treat medical students like unique and important individuals, and they will grow into compassionate and effective physicians.

Kendra L. Campbell, MD


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