Perspective: “How to Fix the Premedical Curriculum” Revisited

Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges (Impact Factor: 2.93). 01/2009; 83(12):1158-61. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31818c6515
Source: PubMed


The authors celebrate the 30th anniversary of Lewis Thomas's provocative essay, "How to Fix the Premedical Curriculum," by reexamining its three central themes: the influence of medical schools on undergraduate education, the selection of students for admission to medical school, and a radical proposed reform of premedical education. At issue are fundamental questions concerning the relationship between the liberal arts and medical education--questions that are no less vital today than when Thomas first posed them: What is the purpose of undergraduate education? How closely aligned are the undergraduate and graduate phases of medical education? What do future physicians need to know that is not taught in medical school? Thomas reminds us that the undergraduate curriculum is no less vital to the future of medicine than medical school itself, and that premature specialization does not serve the best interests of future physicians or patients. Instead of treating premedical education as a mere prelude to medical school, we should encourage undergraduates to take full advantage of their college years as an opportunity to develop as human beings.

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