Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Clinical Review ABC of learning and teaching in medicine

One to one teaching and feedback

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 08 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:543

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Before the 15th century in clinics and hospitals medical
knowledge was transmitted in little groups by doctors, who taught their
own experience, acquired by direct observation of their patients. With the
becoming of the printing era, universities popularised the use of
the lecturer teacher, who acquired and updated his knowledge mainly
throughout the books reading or his own experience and taught it to
others. We can say that until the last century’s eighties the universities
maintained this figure. With the introduction of computers to
universities, (they appeared in their buildings as mushrooms after the
rain, in order to stay for ever), the teaching learning process began to

From 1990 we’re living in a new era, which is producing significant
changes in the work market, in people’s relationships, and in general
in the normal dynamics of the contemporary society. We’re witnesses of a
big revolution, which is carrying us to the emerging of new paradigms. We
can say we’re living a similar epoch to that lived in the world during the
18th century’s last quarter with a big difference: computers and robots
are more powerful engines than those epoch’s machines. The impact of this
revolution is so big that health’s educational center which doesn’t move
inside this new technological car, it’s condemned to disappear in a very
short time.

The world educational system is passing from the teaching building to the
teaching computers’ system; from the masterly class to the palm top
personalised class. The teacher is becoming an advisor, a guide. This is
an era where the teacher gives his work routinely to a computer and
becomes transformed into a tutor. We can call this educational step, the
open educational system’s era. If we use computers as complementary
tools the teaching one by one will be the best educational system from
primary compulsory school to higher education.

Competing interests:  
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 March 2003
Emilio Polo Ledezma
Ph.D. Biochemistry
Health’s Faculty of The Surcolombiana University