Archive for the ‘Info At Our Fingertips’ Category

Doctors Should Not Spend So Much Time Memorizing in our Information Age

April 27th, 2015

Studying for any profession typically involves cramming a lot of information into our heads that we will presumably need when we are working in our daily lives. In some instances, both what is taught and the methods of teaching become outdated. This is no more true than for those studying to become doctors. Medical knowledge is advancing by leaps and bounds every decade, and yet medical students are made to cram outdated information. In a recent article about this situation, it is noted that the entire body of knowledge in the field of medicine doubles about every four years. Many medical schools are not able to adapt quickly enough, and much of what medical students learn may be dated by the time they are practicing physicians.

There is another factor at play. In our modern age, information is available at our fingertips from the plethora of gadgets we all carry around. Medical schools should be spending their time teaching doctors the basics that will never change such as anatomy and also training future doctors to problem solve as this will be applicable to any medical situation they confront. Memorizing facts that they can easily look up when they need it is time taken away from learning broader techniques of how to care for patients, and the patients should be the focus after all. In order for doctors to stay fully up to date, says Ricardo Tosto, medical schools need to acclimate their teaching methodologies to a modern world in which a mass of information at our fingertips negates the need for mass memorization of the types of rigid medical facts that may change soon anyway.