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A closer look at using the “flipped classroom” model at the School of Medicine

As reported previously on Scope, the School of Medicine is developing a new online learning initiative to re-imagine medical education using the "flipped classroom" model. Titled the Stanford Medicine Interactive Learning Initiatives , the program aims to make better use of the fixed amount of educational time available to train doctors.

In a piece published today on the Health Care Blog, Michael Painter, JD, MD, a  senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recounts his visit to an ECG cardiology course at the medical school to observe how educators are using web-based videos to impart basic knowledge and reserving class time for more engaging activities. He writes:

This Stanford class-flipping experience is new—in fact, it’s just a week old—so I got to see it at its beginning.  In the first hour, Dr. [Paul] Wang essentially gave the video lecture again.  In the subsequent two-hour small group sessions, the students worked with teachers on ECG problem-solving and games.  They engaged well with the teachers and each other—and seemed to be using new vocabulary and identifying ECG patterns pretty adeptly by the end.

The dean, Dr. Charles Prober—a Stanford Medical School champion of moving medical education content into YouTube format and onto the Khan platform— was there.  Another local champion of this work, Dr. Drew Patterson, associate professor of anesthesiology, was there as well.  These leaders, Drs. Prober, Patterson and Wang, are creative and brave people.  They are trying to bring the first ripples of widening care transformation to fortress academia, and no doubt the status quo will not adjust quietly.  Both Drs. Prober and Patterson spoke passionately about the enormous potential of this technology along with changing attitudes about medical education.  They are trying hard to get their medical school to embrace that change and help lead it.

Previously: Combining online learning and the Socratic method to reinvent medical school courses, Using the “flipped classroom” model to re-imagine medical education, Rethinking the “sage on stage” model in medical education and Stanford professors propose re-imagining medical education with “lecture-less” classes

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