No ‘old school’ for one medical school

Medical education
Some medical schools are starting to phase out lectures in favor of active learning.

It’s not “old school” at one Vermont medical school.

Starting this year, the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine will phase out lectures in favor of what’s known as active learning, according to NPR.

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Instead of having medical school students spend their time in a lecture hall listening to a professor and taking pages and pages of notes, the new class that begins this week will take a new approach. The school plans to eliminate lectures entirely by 2019, according to the report.

“The issue is that there is a lot of evidence that lectures are not the best way to accumulate the skills needed to become a scientist or a physician,” William Jeffries, Ph.D., the school’s senior associate dean for medical education, told NPR.

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So-called active learning is a better way to engage learners. So instead of listening to a professor talk about the mathematical equations involved in pharmacokinetics, he explains that students will work in groups solving pharmacokinetic problems when they get into the classroom.

With evidence to back the idea, Jeffries says this may be the norm at all medical schools in the future.