Teaching in the MDProgram

Key Concepts

The key concepts are:                                              

    • Optimal learning ultimately involves optimal use of memory
    • Memory is the ability to store, retain and recall information
    • Memory involves 3 key steps:
    • Encoding information
    • Organizational structure
    • Helped by attaching basic science explanations
    • Storing information:
    • Uses working memory, which is limited is space (3-4 major concepts) and time (concepts lost if not rehearsed in 30 seconds)
    • Retrieving information:
    • Forgetting is a failure of retrieval, not storage

Optimized by:

    • Dispersing our teaching (better than teaching in “blocks”)
    • Forcing students to retrieve as much as possible (reviews, quizzes….)
    • Aligning learning and retrieval contexts (helps knowledge transfer)
    • Medical problem solving is complex, but involves fundamentally two “systems”:

System 1:

    • Aka pattern recognition, instinct, mental short-cuts (heuristics), non-analytical
    • Involves, often subconsciously, recognition of “key features”
    • “key features” can and should be taught overtly (e.g. make them objectives for each small group)

System 2:

    • Aka analytical reasoning (e.g. scheme-inductive, probability-based, hypothetico-deductive reasoning) 

 

These are the five philosophies we strive for in UME:

  1. Help students encode/organize their knowledge by providing them a structure and basic science underpinnings
  2. Less is more [helps storage in memory]
  3. Disperse learning [helps retrieval from memory]
  4. If you are having trouble retrieving: do more retrieving! [quizzes]
  5. Try to make overt what unconsciously occurs in experts’ minds [“key features” teaching]