Professor Anywhere: Medical Education in the Virtual World
Integrating medical education and the virtual world
How do you bring 25 busy clinical faculty members together four times a year to teach 170 fourth year medical students advanced therapeutics? Five years ago, the answer was simply “you can’t.” But today, thanks to technology and the
commitment of the Medical School’s Office of Medical Education, the answer is “online,” and the evidence is the innovative Advanced Medical Therapeutics course.
“We wanted to create a course to address the complex issues relating to advanced therapeutics, such as pharmacology, blood transfusion, pulmonary function testing and prosthetics. And we wanted it Web-based to make participation f lexible and access easy,” says Joseph Fantone, associate dean for Medical Education.
Cary Engleberg, M.D., D.T.M.&H., professor, Infectious Diseases Division of Internal Medicine, agreed to take on the assignment. The result is the school’s first distance education course. It debuted as an elective earlier this year during its pilot phase and is now required for graduation. Students from the two pilot courses were enthusiastic in their course evaluations, not only for the teaching and learning techniques, but also because it allows them to continue learning even while meeting the travel demands of being an M4.
“The flexible schedule really allows you to take advantage of interviewing, doing research, hanging out with family and friends at the same time as taking the course,” says Daniel Saddawi-Konefka, who participated in the pilot program.
AMT students have online access to case studies and related materials and resources, video monologues by clinical experts in a casual style that simulates clinic-based learning, and online quizzes. A class project rounds out the course. Projects remain accessible to future classes. A journal club is the only feature not on the Web.
“The goals of this course are just like anything else in our curriculum—to develop students’ abilities to seek out knowledge, analyze and use it,” Engleberg says.