Dream Schools

The Renaissance School of General Medicine

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7327.1454 (Published 22 December 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1454
  1. E B Peile, general practionera,
  2. G P Easton, broadcasterb,
  3. S Olney, general practitionerc
  1. a Aston Clinton Surgery, Alesury HP22 5LB
  2. b Science Department, BBC Radio Science Unit
  3. c The Surgery, 1 Glebe Road, London SW13 0DR

    The Christmas issue contains three people's description of their ideal medical school.

    Read the descriptions:

    • Renaissance School of Medicine, p 1454

    • François Rabelais School of Medicine, p 1456

    • Confucius School of Medicine, p 1458


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    We asked three people with an interest in education to speculate on what a medical school of the future might look like. Here Ed Peile and colleagues describe their Renaissance School; then Jeremy Anderson (p 1456) and Cindy Lam (p 1458) outline their visions.

    The Renaissance School will produce broadly educated doctors who think in terms of patients rather than organs and are strong, multiprofessional team players.

    The irresistible swing towards medical specialisation has brought advantages for patients, but arguably it has gone too far.1 As Horder puts it, “people are whole units who go wrong as a whole, and do not take kindly to being divided into organ systems.”2 Now more than ever, patients need generalist doctors who can put their individual problems in context and provide continuity.


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    “The Ambassadors” (1533) by Hans Holbein the Younger. Note the anamorphic skull in the foreground, which corrects itself when viewed from below and to the right of the painting. The perspective of the viewer or learner is all-important

    The return of the generalist

    In the Renaissance School of General Medicine students will learn only what they need to learn to be supremely effective generalists. From day one the …

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