The art of medical education


Medical education, strategic planning, change management, learning, role model, hidden curriculum, quality care.


Professor Medical Education, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Is the art of medical education just making sure to provide sufficient up to date medical knowledge and a lot of clinical experience? It is much more. The art of medical education is about a teaching program that is designed to serve the community of the near future. The program is the result of a thorough evaluation of societal needs and is capable of influencing the properties of future care. New care professionals who are trained in the program will become instrumental in solving complex problems in health systems. The art of medical education is about the change of traditional ideas of how to cope with these health systems. This change will raise anger and resistance. Effective change management is essential to survive attacks from laggards and to maintain enthusiasm to invest in the health care of the future. Educationalist science provides several important insights that help us find the optimal shape of the program. Good role models and a learning environment that is an example of the intended professional and organisational behaviour, learning by doing, simulation programs, educational tools like e-learning systems, a good assessment and feedback system, and a portfolio to prove and discuss professional progress are all pivotal components of the ideal program. To achieve mastery within the art of medical education, a quality improvement program will be the crown of the process. Medical education is a multifaceted process and so the quality improve- ment should be. The art of medical education is a great challenge. The health care of your future deserves it.