Thursday, 26 April 2007

DIY Medicine

It seems like ages since I last blogged but I've not really been up to much. I'm doing a 3 week SSC at the moment, and rather than do yet another clinically based one I decided to make my own, and so I'm spending 3 weeks looking at Medical Education, I subject which I'm for some reason almost ashamed to say, fascinates me. It a fairly simple project, or so I thought, mainly a library based literature review sort of thing. Also means I don't have to drive to hospital every day which is a good thing and I get the occasional long morning in bed (when missbliss doesn't poke me for a lift to school)

So, medical education, bit of an odd topic for an SSC I hear you cry, well maybe it is. To be honest, I was hoping for the chance to write 4000 words on the shortcomings of Problem Based Learning (PBL), that is probably what I'll end up doing but already I've found so much more than that. I've even dared to venture into the depths of learning itself, what is learning? What is knowledge? Two questions which lots of old dudes with long names seem to have take a lifetime to waffle about back in the days of temples and dragons. I find myself strangely curious about it all, if somewhat embarrassed that I'm this interested.

I still don't know how to feel about PBL and I've been doing it for 4 years! As a concept its probably quite good, and it has its advantages, but in practice it just doesn't work like it should, whatever the reasons (and there are plenty.) Although saying that, I think a lecture based course would have killed me. So, this SSC is going to be a bit of a voyage into the unknown, who knows where I'll come out on the other side, and what I'll think by then, perhaps I'll have solved a few of the worlds problems along the way, one thing is for sure, if you stay tuned, I'll let you know.


medstudentitis said...

Your title made me fear that you were going to make a post about how you removed your own move or drained your own cyst or something. I was pleasantly surprised by the following comments on med ed! I think that medical education is fascinating! I look forward to hearing more about your thoughts on the subject.

Ms-Ellisa said...

I agree with you on the PBL thing - a lecture based course would have killed me too. Plus you get to see what practising medicine actually is, even if you just watch others perform it and play practice like we do here

Dr Andrew Brown said...

I would also be interested to learn your thoughts.
I always hoped that one of my partners would join me as a trainer, but he refused because he had been a "proper" teacher (in a school and all that) in an earlier existence, and thought that the theories of Medical Education are a big pile of poo.
Also of course, medical educationalists had a large input into the now discredited MTAS design ("write some creative fiction here and to hell with your CV").
Kindly swap notes with missbliss (when she stops poking you, that is).

dr_dyb said...

I think PBL is in many ways like proper medicine - (at least our 3rd year PBL is)

1. Patients presents - generate differential diagnosis
2. Take History
3. Examination (results given)
4. Investigations (results given)
5. Any developments (to add spice to the mix and dependent on scenario)
6. Proposed management plan
7. Bio-psycho-social aspects of condition and management
8. Any ethical considerations.

There are a few times though when you get a condition no-one knows anything about, therefore it is not in our differential diagnosis....

missbliss said...

You can tell when I'm on a school trip and therefore haven't proof-read your post!

Cal said...

Hmmm, PBL... I'm not sure. I didn't like it that much. Having said that, it really does depend on the group dynamic and what everyone else is willing to do.

Personally, I still think PBL is a bit of a waste of time and far too variable from group-to-group, thus no standardised teaching level.

Some people would come away from their group thinking, wow! Ive learnt so much!

With me it was more like, "Dang, what a waste of time... should have just gone for a run instead."

But that's just my rant.

By the way, what on earth is an SSC?? Is it like a special study module? Did you not have to do a BSc?

The Angry Medic said...

To agree with Medstudentitis: I, too, thought you had yanked out your own appendix or something. You have a knack for catchy post titles don'tcha? :)

To agree with dear Cal: what on earth IS an SSC? (You realise you're talking to a Cambridge medic. Your description of the course you'd dislike most in this post? That IS my course.)

And to add my own comment: "Two questions which lots of old dudes with long names seem to have take a lifetime to waffle about back in the days of temples and dragons."

This made me laugh out loud. I thought this was GOLD :)

the little medic said...

SSC = SSM = Special Study Module = What the GMC say should make up 33%* of any Medical Degree

*Don't quote me on that, but its some equally high number.