Future physicians are cutting class: 4 takeaways

Medical students are ditching traditional classroom lectures in favor of learning through online resources, reports STAT.

Four takeaways:

1. Second-year medical students are increasingly less likely to show up to class. A questionnaire from the Association of American Medical Colleges found less than half of second-year medical students (47.3 percent) in 2017 said they attend in-person pre-clerkship courses or lectures "most of the time" (34.7 percent) or "often" (12.6 percent). This compares to 50.6 percent in 2016 and 52.3 percent in 2015. Nearly 24 percent of second-year medical students in 2017 said they "almost never" attend in-person courses or lectures. This compares to 18.2 percent in 2015.

2. As medical students are skipping class, they are opting more for virtual pre-clerkship courses and lectures. The AAMC questionnaire found 58 percent of second-year medical students in 2017 said they attended virtual courses "most of the time" or "often." Additionally, 24.2 percent of second-year medical students in 2017 said they used online videos for their medical education information daily. That compares to 13.4 percent in 2015 and 9.1 percent in 2014.

3. Medical students are increasingly using these online resources, including memory aids, videos and online quizzes, to prepare for the Step 1 test that is part of the nation's medical licensing examination, according to the report.

4. Some medical schools are adjusting amid the trend toward online resources. Harvard Medical School in Boston mostly eliminated lectures and allows students learn the course content outside of the classroom before applying the knowledge in mandatory small group sessions, reports STAT. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore has made similar efforts by reducing lectures and increasing sessions requiring active student participation.

Read the full STAT report here.


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