Medical education

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Medical education is education related to the practice of being a medical practitioner, either the initial training to become a doctor or further training thereafter (including residency).

Medical education and training varies considerably across the world. Various teaching methodologies have been utilised in medical education, which is an active area of educational research.

Entry-level education

Entry-level medical education programs are tertiary-level courses undertaken at a medical school. Depending on jurisdiction and university, these may be either undergraduate-entry (most of Europe, India, China) or graduate-entry programs (mainly United States).

Generally, initial training is taken at medical school. Traditionally initial medical education is divided between preclinical and clinical studies. The former consists of the basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology. The latter consists of teaching in the various areas of clinical medicine such as internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and surgery. Increasingly, however, medical programs are using systems-based curricula in which learning is integrated, and several institutions do this.

There has been a proliferation of programmes that combine medical training with research (MD PhD) or management programmes (MD MBA), although this has been criticised.[1]

Post-graduate education

Following completion of entry-level training, newly graduated doctors are often required to undertake a period of supervised practice before full registration is granted; this is most often of one year duration and may be referred to as "internship" or "provisional registration" or "residency".

Further training in a particular field of medicine may be undertaken. In some jurisdictions this is commenced immediately following completion of entry-level training, whilst other jurisdictions require junior doctors to undertake generalist (unstreamed) training for a number of years before commencing specialisation.

Example of medical education systems

See also


  1. Dyrbye LN, Thomas MR, Natt N, Rohren CH (2007). "Prolonged delays for research training in medical school are associated with poorer subsequent clinical knowledge". J Gen Intern Med. PMID 17492473.

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