Free Medical Education: Issues, Trends, Challenges & Opportunities Essay Sample

One may ask why the medical education is changing when the human body is not. However, disease patterns are changing daily, while the number of sick people is alarming. This has increased pressure on the healthcare delivery system. This paper summarizes the problems medical trainers face when trying to provide quality education to future doctors.

The recipients of medical services are patients. Whether they die or survive depends on the quality of medical service, and, hence, on the quality of medical doctors. Trainers must prepare their students so that they become competent and caring medical officers. Various organizations, among them the Association of American Medical Colleges, has expressed their discontent with the traditional medical education. The major shortcomings of the traditional training are as follows.

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The process of education mostly consists of  lecturing with students spending most of their time in class. Majority of students forget the information they learn in class quite easily. Moreover, students never actively participate in the learning process and merely take notes. Secondly, the teaching is discipline based. However, integration of these disciplines is always difficult. The future medical doctor is, therefore, not equipped in all medical areas. Lastly, the education is professor administered and highly teacher-centered, making students unable to go out of the way and discover things on themselves.

The article goes on to explain the current trends in the field. The medical training field is becoming problem- and student-based and has an integrated inter-disciplinary curriculum. A traditional student has the theoretical knowledge, but lacks practical skills to treat patients professionally. The new system focuses on enhancing community skills, changing medical trends, public health training and encourages learning by intuition.

For the new curriculum to be effective, teachers need to harness their teaching skills. Teachers should embrace the role of guides as a central role of teaching. They should form strong partnerships with their students. Teachers should also integrate technology in their lectures. If doctors are to be competent enough, teachers need to get the right and best possible way to pass on their knowledge.

The major theme of this article is the transition from traditional teaching to a more practical modern teaching system. It suggests some of the ways in which education can improve the medical sector. However, the paper is remarkably shallow in its findings. For instance, the success of any countrywide policy depends on the government policy. The article fails to realize the government's role in achieving the medical objectives. The paper also suggests that teachers should reevaluate their teaching methods. However, the article fails to mention that teachers need further education in order to improve their teaching skills.

It is vital to note that the paper identifies the crippling factor in the medical field, which is the overreliance on traditional teaching methods. This is a fact that the author communicates clearly. His suggestion that we shift to a less teacher centered teaching is perhaps a weakness of the article. Students need both knowledge and skills. There should be a proper balance between the two. However, the author focuses more on skills and less on knowledge. The author also fails to appreciate fully the role of technology in education. The medical field is becoming technology dependent. Sophisticated machinery such as X-Rays, life support machine and radiography equipment, are all modern and sophisticated machines. If the upcoming medical officers are to save lives, they need to know how to operate this medical equipment.       

The author achieves his objective by identifying the crippling factor in the medical sector. However, he fails in his proposals on how to improve the solution. The methods he proposes are good, but insufficient.


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