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Abraham Verghese: “There is no panacea for an investment of time at the bedside with students”

As mentioned earlier today, the first-ever Medicine X|ED conference kicks off here tomorrow. Stanford's Abraham Verghese, MD, known as a champion of bedside medicine, is among those delivering a keynote speech at the conference, and he recently gave a preview of his talk to the Wing of Zock blog. From the piece:

An overarching theme of Stanford MedX | ED this year is reaching the millennial learner. Of that cohort, Verghese notes that they learn well on their own and are well served by the flipped classroom model. “The paradox is on the wards,” he says. “The whole team ends up looking at the patient online—which is one person’s opinion, magnified—then going to see the patient, which can seem like an afterthought.” The at-your-fingertips accessibility of information means that health care providers focus on the “iPatient,” a term Verghese coined to denote this virtual representation of the patient, rather than the flesh-and-blood human before them.

“Although technology makes medical education ripe for innovation, it has introduced a complacency that the relationship is not important. There is no panacea for a one-on-one investment of time at the bedside with students. Medicine is an art and a science, but it is also a craft. There is much to be learned through apprenticeship, influence, mentorship, and modeling; we should reserve technology for evaluation,” Verghese says.

The increasing emphasis on empathy in patient care and the corresponding need to teach medical students to be empathetic further underscores the need for interpersonal education, Verghese says: “We can talk about empathy in the classroom but it’s much more effective through modeling. Students must see that people value and believe in these approaches.”

More news about the conference is available in the Medicine X category.

Previously: Medicine X 2015 kicks off this week with a focus on the theme “Great eXpectations”Stanford Medicine 25 Skills Symposium to focus on building leaders for the bedside medicine movement, A call for extended bedside manner training and Abraham Verghese discusses reconnecting to the-patient at the bedside

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