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Abraham Flexner

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Gimlet eye on biomedical model for med school


John Henning Schumann, M.D., writes about how “the biomedical model of educating doctors, based largely on a century-old document called The Flexner Report, is coming under fire.”

“Instead, the new theory goes, students should be taught and evaluated on their ability to find, assess and synthesize knowledge. And they should be educated in teams to help prepare them for what goes on in the real world.”

“From another angle, critics of the {Abraham} Flexner model correctly point out that Flexner himself, an educational theorist with no medical training, was silent on issues such as poverty, housing, nutrition and other factors that we now call the social determinants of health.”

“Over the years since then, more research has shed light on the economic and health impact of social determinants. ”

Dr. Schumann said he has been pleasantly surprised by how many “medical schools are now getting serious about the importance of social determinants.”



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