NPR: Medical students aren't showing up to class. What does that mean for future docs?

4 June, 2023

Interesting article from NPR, a US-pased 'an independent, nonprofit media organization that was founded on a mission to create a more informed public'.

The article starts:

'During my first two years as a medical student, I almost never went to lectures. Neither did my peers. In fact, I estimate that not even a quarter of medical students in my class consistently attended classes in person. One of my professors, Dr. Philip Gruppuso, says in his 40 years of teaching, in-person lecture attendance is the lowest he's seen. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, first- and second-year medical students regularly skipped lectures. Instead, they opted to watch the recordings at home on their own time. The pandemic accelerated the shift. This absence from the classroom has a lot of people in the medical education system wondering how this will affect future doctors, and has precipitated wide discussion among medical institutions. Medical education is changing rapidly, and the change is being driven by students — so how do schools incorporate the reality of virtual learning while training them adequately for the huge responsibility of patient care?'

The authors propose: "employ the "flipped classroom" model extensively for preclerkship medical school lectures. In this model, the in-person lecture all but disappears, and students learn most of the classroom-type material on their own before in-person time".

We look forward to hearing your views, especially if you are a medical student.

The authors do not mention other health professional training such as nursing. Are similar shifts happening here?

Best wishes, Neil

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: