Conversations on Legal and Medical Education

I mentioned in my post on Curriculum Reform: Best Processes? that one of our curriculum committee “accomplishments” this year was initiating conversations.

For one of our conversations, we invited Jan Carline, Ph.D. of the University of Washington Medical School’s Department of Medical Education to talk to the committee about what they do at medical schools. Not a new topic for this blog — use the blog’s search function for “medical school” and you’ll find 6 posts by Antoinette.

The conversation was fascinating. The medical school is so much ahead of us on multiple dimensions. Three that stuck out for me were:

  • Explicit attention to professional formation
  • Integrating experiential learning from the beginning of the educational process
  • Extensive collaboration among faculty to identify teaching goals, assess progress toward those goals, and revise the curriculum in response to the assessment

I don’t mean to suggest they have it all down. They certainly seem to struggle with many of the same issues we do. But at a much higher, more sophisticated level.

And, not surprisingly, medical education per student apparently costs about twice what legal education does. Guess there’s a reason law schools don’t have Departments of Legal Education engaged in careful empirical research!

Having said that, Antoinette’s series of posts on her collaboration with the UNM medical school around domestic violence is a great reminder that there’s potential for drawing on medical schools’ strengths in these areas to improve our own work.

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One Response

  1. Debbie, you are right about medical schools strugging with the same issues we are…but that is good, we should all continue the struggle to improve our teaching and enhance student learning. Thanks for the post! I look forward to your conference at Univ. of Wahsington!

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