AMSA's 2015 Annual Convention
Join Us Next Spring
in Washington, DC!

February 26 - March 1, 2015 

Flexner

educationRx:
Medical Education in America

educationRx is designed to provide premedical students with concise and easily accessible information concerning the continuing evolution of medical education in America. By discussing influential historical changes that have transformed medical education and the careers of medical professionals, by examining current programs, and by investigating potential future alterations, we aim to provide students with a better understanding of the field which they hope to study. Premedical students do not have a readily available resource of this kind geared toward their understanding. This website provides such a resource and encourages the development of a broader understanding of what it means to pursue a medical education. Before committing to medical school, students should inform themselves about the curricula and focuses of their choice schools, educationRx provides the information needed to do so.

MEDICAL EDUCATION IN AMERICA

Like many of the earliest professions, medical knowledge was passed from one generation of American physicians to the next via a traditional form of apprenticeship. As technology and techniques advanced, these apprenticeships were supplemented first by informal and later by formal medical education at established facilities. What began as a promising start to the establishment of such educational institutions was interrupted by a defining era in our country’s history: The American Revolution. Post revolutionary trends led to the establishment of proprietary medical schools and a degradation in the quality of education received. The need for change was evident and by the beginning of the 20th century various individuals and organizations called for reform. The individual that stands out today is Abraham Flexner, author of Medical Education in the United States and Canada: A Report to the Carnegie Foundation of the Advancement of Teaching Bulletin No. 4, better known as the Flexner Report. Flexner’s report successfully served as a catalyst in what can now be considered the first major era of reform in American medical education. His became the model followed by schools and medical boards nationwide for the next century. Over 100 years after the publication of the Flexner Report we are again confronted with a need for reform. New concerns based on both similar and fundamentally different issues have arisen and demand to be addressed. Today we enter a second era of reform; one which has begun with the innovative curricula already offered at various medical schools and will proceed with the continued development of new trends. Students focused on pursuing medical careers have the opportunity and indeed the obligation to educate themselves and to understand the options offered in the hopes of choosing an institution whose curriculum appeals to them.

 

Before There Was Flexner >

In Her Words...

“No one would cheer more loudly for a change in medical education than Abraham Flexner. He recognized that medical education had to reconfigure itself in response to changing scientific, social, and economic circumstances in order to flourish from one generation to the next. The flexibility and freedom to change — indeed, the mandate to do so — were part of Flexner's essential message. He would undoubtedly support the fundamental restructuring of medical education needed today. Indeed, we suspect he would find it long overdue.”

- Dr. Barbara Barzansky, director, Division of Undergraduate Medical Education, American Medical Association, Chicago, Illinois, in Flexner and Medical