The Healthmonix Advisor

AMEE 2016 : Do We Want Competent or Excellent Doctors?

Posted by Lauren Patrick on September 27, 2016

Evolving Medical Education is not Without Controversy

Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) Is clearly an area of discussion and controversy worldwide. Medical education is in the middle of a paradigm shift from the old style of medical education, referred to as “Structure/Process” education, initiated in 1910, to CBME. To learn about CBME, a good starting point is AM Rounds. During the AMEE conference, some cynical delegates stated that ‘Competency Based Medical Education’ (CBME) could be misinterpreted as ‘Checklist Based Measurable Education’.

Nevertheless, the paradigm shift is well underway and one aspect of evaluation is the discussion of levels of competency as they align with the physician’s career and practice of medicine.



At AMEE, the question was posed as “do you want to be treated by a competent doctor or an excellent doctor?” Clearly the level of competency needs to be set a particular level and may take some learners longer to achieve than others.

There was a tension across medical educators and at the conference between the idea of "striving for excellence" versus "aiming competence." Pose yourself the following question: Which one of these ‘competent‘ pilots do you want to land the plane?

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Topics: Medical Education

AMEE 2016 : What matters when we teach medicine?

Posted by Lauren Patrick on September 22, 2016

Medical education is not straightforward. At a meeting of over 3,500 healthcare educators from around the world, there were theories and approaches put forward about the best way to education of physicians and there were debates around these. I’ve been attending these meetings for almost ten years, and the conversation is continuing and evolving. It’s never without controversy. Some of the comments I heard this year:

“Embrace complexity but act with simplicity.”

“If you torture data long enough, it will confess to anything.”

“Learning is not knowledge transmission but knowledge reconstruction.”

The opening plenary at AMEE 2016 was delivered by Graham Brown-Martin, an innovator in education. Graham’s talk was focused on education in the school sector, leaving it to us, the audience, to translate into the implications for medical professional education. We also heard that the idea of teaching critical thinking, one of my personal passions, gets lost in teaching facts needed to pass a test or get to the next course. Sound familiar? Graham highlighted how schools need to equip children with the knowledge and skills to reimagine society, to meet the challenges of their generation. Surely this is true for medical education as well.

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Topics: Medical Education