Will e-learning improve clinical judgment?

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7449.1147 (Published 13 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1147
  1. Daniel J Klass, director of the quality management division (dklass@cpso.on.ca)
  1. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, 80 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2E2

    Not until doctors build collegial learning into practice

    At the turn of the 20th century, when “modern” medical education was just getting up and running, a clarion call of the reformers was to reduce the overload on students' minds. “Medical educators of the latter nineteenth century were the first physicians in history to feel the real shock of the information explosion.”1 But wait a minute, that's just what the problem seems to be today, and so it was in the 1980s as described in the famous report on “the general professional education of the physician,” and in the1960s when an earlier study of medical education in the United States was published.2 3 This complaint about overload by medical students and their teachers seems to be a constant one and may reflect a tendency to complain rather than the sudden emergence of an unbearable weight of knowledge that needs to be absorbed. The real problem is the matter of selection, and the tenacity of the complaint serves to remind teachers of our poor performance in the first and probably hardest role of the teacher—helping students to learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    The problem is even more difficult when the “student” is a practising doctor. At first glance, selection of material for practitioners should be …

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