Friday, August 01, 2003

Dr. Smith links to an article in The Boston Globe about Brown University's program to offer the first two years of medical school over the internet. This statement kind of cracks me up:
a major goal is to replace the conventional lecture-and-textbook approach of medical school, which Smith calls ''dehumanizing".
What does he mean by this? One of most "humanizing' parts of my medical education was the hours spent in the anatomy lab with my dissection group. It touches one at a visceral level seeing the beauty of the human body, while also humbled by the gift that was given to us by this person and their family. I don't think it can be replaced by a computer simulation. As a surgeon so much of what I do everyday is not only based on sight, but also feel. Maybe in the future the technology will exist to do this, but not today.
For full disclosure, outside of anatomy lab and "pot case" days in second-year pathology I hardly attended class. Sitting in a darkened lecture hall for me is a sure way to induce narcolepsy. I realized I could sleep better in my own bed than their chairs. Out of the 170 members of my class, only about 20 or so attended class every day. We had the note-takers as well as professors who relied heavily on handouts. I actually had classmates who thought that me and my friends had dropped out since they never saw us.
Have a good weekend!
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