Saturday, January 9, 2010

How will medical education change in the future?

Medical school has evolved dramatically over the past few decades. Think about how many drugs medical students had to learn 50 years ago. Compare that to today, where new classes of pharmacological agents are being developed practically every year. On top of those changes, we're seeing so much happening in the world of molecular medicine, genomics, pharmacogenetics, personalized medicine, and medical devices. Plus, we're inventing new treatments and applying new strategies to treat certain diseases and conditions. The study of medicine has become much more complex over the years.

The traditional medical school in the United States if 4 years long and it's a graduate program for students who have completed a 4-year college degree. There are a handful of medical schools that combine undergrad with medical school so that you can complete your education in a shorter period of time.

Given all the recent advances in medical technology, disease management, and pharmacology, is 4 years of medical school enough? In the future, will medical school be longer than 4 years? Maybe residency will get longer. There are some people out there who are actively advocating that certain residencies should be longer because physicians who complete those residency training programs are not feeling properly equipped to practice medicine.

1 comment:

  1. If 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency (and often several more years of fellowship) aren't enough to prepare physicians to see patients, why in some states, are nurse practitioners allowed to practice independently of a physician with less education and training?

    Anonymous physician