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Medical Students Aren't Going to Class

August 20, 2018
 
 

Medical students across the country are ditching class in favor of online, self-guided learning, Stat News reported.

According to 2017 data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, about one-fourth of medical students reported that they “almost never” went to class during their first two years of medical school. Instead of attending lectures, students are turning to online learning tools such as SketchyMedical, a company that produces online visual memory tools to help students memorize and retain minutiae and vocabulary. The videos help students create memory “palaces” or “journeys” where they can go to recall the hundreds of details they’re required to know for the Step 1, an eight-hour multiple-choice test taken at the end of students’ preclinical years.

Medical colleges are scrambling to respond. Some, such as Harvard Medical School, are moving away from lectures and toward a flipped-classroom model where students are required to learn the material on their own and apply in it class. Even though medical colleges are beginning to prioritize critical thinking over memorization, they recognize that students are still required to memorize and recall hundreds of terms for their board exams -- one area where medical colleges and national licensing exams are not aligned.

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