Is the Flipped Classroom a Panacea for Medical Education?

  • Catherine E. LewisEmail author
Surgical Education (S. Tisherman, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Surgical Education


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to describe the flipped classroom, its advantages and disadvantages, its use specifically in medical education, and directions for future research. The flipped classroom is an instructional model in which the traditional lecture is delivered in a video format before class. The in-class time is spent on active, inquiry-based learning facilitated by an instructor.

Recent Findings

The flipped classroom is rapidly gaining in interest and popularity, and being increasingly implemented in medical education at all levels. Despite its many theoretical advantages, there are a variety of pros and cons that educators should consider when adopting this methodology. Overall, research findings to date support use of the flipped classroom in regard to learner preference and satisfaction; however, further studies are needed to determine its true effect on learning outcomes.


The flipped classroom is a relatively new educational modality that can potentially promote learner-centered, self-directed, active learning. There is significant potential for educational researchers who wish to develop assessment tools capable of evaluating deeper learning, particularly within the flipped classroom framework.


Flipped classroom Medical education Active learning 


Compliance with Ethical Guidelines

Conflict of interest

Catherine E. Lewis declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trauma, General Surgery & Surgical Critical CareDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA

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