The New Medical Education Paradigm

laboratory test tubes
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Medical education is changing. What we know about how to educate doctors and other health professionals has changed dramatically over the past few decades, and the old ways of doing things are falling away. According to Dr. Jeremy Barnett the new medical education paradigm is different from how doctors were taught even five years ago, let alone fifty or a hundred years ago. This article will explore some key differences between modern medical education and its historical counterpart as well as some exciting new technologies that may forever change how we learn medicine.

The New Medical Education Paradigm

The new paradigm is a shift from memorization to intentionality.

The new paradigm is developing the habit of lifelong learning.

The new paradigm is better doctoring through technology

Shift from memorization to intentionality

The EMRA experience has helped medical educators shift from a paradigm of memorization to one of intentionality. This change represents a major paradigm shift in which it is no longer the sole responsibility of students to learn the material. Rather, it is up to all stakeholders in education—students, educators, institutions and societies—to act intentionally together so that learning happens across the continuum from pre-professional through postgraduate training and professional practice.

Developing the habit of lifelong learning

If you are interested in developing a lifelong learning habit, it’s important to understand the benefits of doing so. Lifelong learning is crucial to your career success, and it can also make you a more empathetic person. Here are some tips for making lifelong learning part of your daily routine:

  • Figure out what motivates you. If you know what drives your desire to learn new things, then this will help guide your decision-making when it comes time to choose between activities that could be considered ‘learning opportunities’. This might include volunteering as a mentor or tutor, taking advantage of free online classes offered by universities or community centers, or reading books related to topics that interest you most.
  • Develop an approachable goal list for the next 6 months or year ahead (for example: read one book per month). As long as these goals aren’t overly ambitious (i.e., “learn everything about coding”), they’ll give direction without being overwhelming or unrealistic.* Take advantage of all available opportunities!

Better doctoring through technology

The new medical education paradigm is based on the idea that technology is a tool and not a substitute for human interaction. It’s also based on the idea that technology can help doctors learn and practice medicine more efficiently, which will allow them to be more effective in the community.

New medical education paradigms exist for a reason.

In the past decade, medical education has completely changed. The new paradigm of learning is based on intentionality and lifelong learning.

This is a new paradigm because it creates an environment where students learn how to learn in order to become lifelong learners. This allows them to be flexible and adaptable when facing changes in the healthcare industry. It also requires them to know how they like to learn so that they can choose from a variety of educational tools and resources that fit their needs most effectively. In addition, this approach helps students develop skills needed for navigating today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, including critical thinking skills and decision-making abilities necessary for patient care delivery at all levels of practice (eg primary care physicians).


We can all learn from the current medical education paradigm and the new educational paradigms that are emerging. We can use these insights to help us create a better future for our patients and ourselves.

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