Medical Education

Medical Education

Medical Education is the training aimed at ensuring that physicians acquire the knowledge and skills needed to practice medicine professionally. All physicians, medical faculties, and governments have a responsibility to guarantee that the quality of medical education meets a high standard throughout the curriculum.

Medical education is a complex process that starts with characterizing the health-illness processes of communities and individuals, and ends with the understanding of the actions that should be taken to prevent disease, restore or maintain health, and thus ensure the well-being of society. To do so, it is essential to integrate socio-humanism and population health sciences into the basic science teaching of medicine, as well as introduce medical students to the realities that are associated with a profession that is uncertain in nature (the doctor cannot directly control the outcomes of his or her work).

The initial training is the medical degree, which can be either an undergraduate-entry program, depending on jurisdiction and university, or a graduate-entry degree. It includes a period of preclinical studies (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, etc) and clinical studies, where the student is introduced to patient care in the hospital. The clinical curriculum includes the specialized fields of internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and psychiatry.

It is also important to include the basic and applied sciences in the curriculum, to develop an integral approach to the study of the mechanisms of diseases and the means of their prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, to encourage multidisciplinary collaborations, and to promote a culture of excellence in research. The WMA recommends that medical students be taught the fundamental principles of medical and public health research, including ethics and human rights in an interdisciplinary manner.

Moreover, medical education should foster the development of a critical and analytical attitude in patients and the community. This will allow them to detect errors in the healthcare system and provide constructive criticism to improve it. Finally, it is important to introduce the concept of continuous learning into the medical curriculum, as a way of recognizing that the medical professional is never finished with his or her own training and must be constantly updating his or her knowledge.

The medical school curriculum should reflect the healthcare needs of the country and region, which will then determine its content. The faculty of the medical school is responsible for selecting and evaluating the curriculum, ideally through statistical methods and input from students and graduates.