This tradition is attributed to the work of Abraham Flexner, a former headmaster of a private high school in Kentucky, who in 1909 visited all 155 medical schools in the United States & Canada.
A year later, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching published his findings, the impact of which reverberated throughout North America, and resulted in the closure and/or merger of nearly one-third of those 155 schools.
Among his many recommendations was that medical education take place in a university where the most current scientific knowledge was both available and continuously generated.
Second, was that clinical training occur in an academic medical center where the faculty were expert clinicians who were not preoccupied with the business side of medical practice.
We hope you'll find their shared perspectives of interest.
The longstanding approach to North American medical school education (also known as Undergraduate Medical Education or UME) with 2 years of primarily didactic, preclinical work followed by 2 years of clinically oriented experiences is based on a 100-year-old tradition. Open Access is an initiative that aims to make scientific research freely available to all.To date our community has made over 100 million downloads.This approach has served as the educational underpinning for UME at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), starting with the graduation of the Charter Class in 1980.As USU celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year, it seems especially fitting not only to reflect on past traditions, but also to highlight some of the curricular innovations that are currently taking place within the University.This includes consideration of the clinical microsystem associated with the Patient-Centered Medical Home, as well as the military unique considerations that often arise in theater and/or in garrison.In the civilian sector, consideration of the external milieu would involve analysis of pertinent policies/procedures established by a given hospital/HMO, by the associated community/state medical system(s), and/or those policies/procedures associated with Medicare, Medicaid, and other second party payers.By incorporating lessons learned from other schools, USU implemented a major curricular revision in 2 years—compared to the more usual timetable of 3 to 7 years.The fact that this was successfully accomplished is testament to the innate creativity, dedication, and “can-do” spirit inherent in the University's culture.The revised curriculum has even greater long-term implications when one considers that students entering medical school in the Fall of 2012 will probably not enter independent practice until 2019!As such, this essay will incorporate some suggestions for immediate curricular change—not only for USU, but also for other medical schools worldwide.