Saying Goodbye to Lectures in Medical School – Paradigm Shift or Passing Fad?

by Richard M. Schwartzstein and David H. Roberts
N Engl J Med 2017; 377:605-607; August 17, 2017

3 pp. 601 kB

“Become a doctor, no lectures required.” This headline about the University of Vermont’s proposed new approach to medical education generated considerable controversy. Although this proposed change is more drastic than the curriculum reform taking place at other medical schools, the movement away from traditional lecture-based courses has been under way in U.S. medical schools for more than three decades. Transformation began with the introduction of problem-based learning; more recently, lecture-based teaching has increasingly been replaced by team-based learning, inter-professional education, and exercises integrating clinical medicine and basic science. But are the newest proposed changes evidence-based, or are they merely the latest fad in medical education? Are all lectures to be avoided?

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