An article in InsideHigherEd, “Flipping Med Ed,” discusses ways in which med schools can speed up the process of helping their students “find their calling in the field.” The article presents a plan laid out by the senior associate dean of medical education at Stanford, Charles G. Prober, and the founder of the Khan Academy, Salman Khan, which is designed to “transform medical school.”
According to this three-part plan, med schools need to first create a core curriculum that can be taught through short video clips. Then, they need to transform poorly attended lectures into interactive classes in which students can practice what they learned in the core curriculum. Step three involves allowing students to explore their medical passions earlier in their med school experience.
This model puts the students in the driver’s seat, diminishing the value and centrality of lectures so that med school operates more like a “flipped classroom.” Furthermore, the plan suggests that the videos should be student-made, reviewed by professors.
The plan was implemented as a trial in one of Stanford’s poorly rated applied biochemistry courses. The course, which is now rated from good to excellent, proved the trial successful – attendance went from 20% at the former lecture to more than 90% for the optional interactive session which now have a chance of being much better catered to the interests and needs of the students.
Most of the students in the course agreed that this format was more engaging and effective, but that the quality of the videos had to be improved.