Friday, August 20, 2010
Should students and house officers armed with UpToDate be teaching their attendings?
I don’t think anyone’s really saying that but it’s what’s implied in a recent post at Clinical Cases and Images. It was in reference to an older post by Bob Wachter about how house staff and medical students search the literature in the Internet era compared to back in the day. Bob suggests that students’ and residents’ use of resources like UpToDate democratizes teaching and learning on the wards. It’s an interesting trend, but as I’ve said before over-reliance on point of care references, even excellent resources like UpToDate, runs the risk of an overly formulaic approach to clinical medicine. That’s why a solid background in basic science, background reading on the mechanisms and categorizations of disease as well as the development of clinical skills are so important. These are, unfortunately, areas of de-emphasis in medical education today.