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Med Teach. 2012;34(7):521-5. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.668248. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Medical education in the United States of America.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. Kent.dezee@usuhs.mil

Abstract

This article was written to provide a brief history of the medical educational system in the USA, the current educational structure, and the current topics and challenges facing USA medical educators today. The USA is fortunate to have a robust educational system, with over 150 medical schools, thousands of graduate medical education programs, well-accepted standardized examinations throughout training, and many educational research programs. All levels of medical education, from curriculum reform in medical schools and the integration of competencies in graduate medical education, to the maintenance of certification in continuing medical education, have undergone rapid changes since the turn of the millennium. The intent of the changes has been to involve the patient sooner in the educational process, use better educational strategies, link educational processes more closely with educational outcomes, and focus on other skills besides knowledge. However, with the litany of changes have come increased regulation without (as of yet) clear evidence as to which of the changes will result in better physicians. In addition, the USA governmental debt crisis threatens the current educational structure. The next wave of changes in the USA medical system needs to focus on what particular educational strategies result in the best physicians and how to fund the system over the long term.

PMID:
22489971
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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