Medical Education

  • Eleanor FlynnEmail author


Medical education should be a continuum across any doctor’s professional life, from first entry into medical school until the last continuing medical education credit is gained. While there are several distinct phases in any one doctor’s programme there are many similarities in the curriculum, teaching, assessment and evaluation across these periods of individual training. This chapter discusses medical education from the perspectives of medical students, prevocational trainees, vocational trainees and continuing medical education. The section on medical student teaching is the most detailed as it introduces material discussed again briefly in later sections. Selection of medical students is considered along with curriculum, teaching, assessment, evaluation, student support and medical education research in the first section. Later sections deal with specific aspects of prevocational, vocational and continuing medical education. In all sections the important role of doctors in medical education is stressed.


Medical education Continuing medical education Medical student selection Australian medical education Vocational medical education 


  1. 1.
    Markel H. “I Swear by Apollo” – on taking the Hippocratic oath. NEJM. 2004;350:2026–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dornan T. Osler, Flexner, apprenticeship and ‘the new medical education’. J R Soc Med. 2005;98:91–5.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Flexner A. Medical Education in the United States and Canada. A Report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Boston: Updyke, 1910.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    McManus IC, et al. Construct-level predictive validity of educational attainment and intellectual aptitude tests in medical student selection: meta-regression of six UK longitudinal studies. BMC Med. 2013;14:243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wilson IG, et al. Only the best: medical student selection in Australia. Med J Aust. 2012;196:357–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Urlings-Strop LC, Stijnen T, Themmen APN, Splinter TAW. Selection of medical students: a controlled experiment. Med Educ. 2009;43:175–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Eva KW, Rosenfeld J, Reiter HI, Norman GR. An admissions OSCE: the multiple mini-interview. Med Educ. 2004;38:314–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Eva KW, et al. The ability of the multiple mini-interview to predict preclerkship performance in medical school. Acad Med. 2004;79:S40–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    McMaster Medical School uses a 90-minute computer-based test, called CASPer, as part of the selection process. Accessed 21 Apr 2015.
  10. 10.
    Murray R, et al. Medical schools as agents of change: socially accountable medical education. Med J Aust. 2012;196:653–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Barr J, Ogden K, Rooney K. Committing to patient-centred medical education. Clin Teach. 2014;11:503–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Silverman J. Teaching clinical communication: a mainstream activity or just a minority sport? Patient Educ Couns. 2009;76:361–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schuwirth LWT, Van Der Vleuten CPM. The use of clinical simulations in assessment. Med Educ. 2003;37:65–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Conn J, et al. Clinical teaching and learning: from theory and research to application. Med J Aust. 2012;196:527–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gillam L, et al. The role of emotions in health professional ethics teaching. J Med Ethics. 2014;40:331–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    McGurgan P, et al. Fitness-to-practise policies in Australian medical schools—are they fit for purpose? Med J Aust. 2010;193:665–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Papadakis MA, et al. Disciplinary action by medical boards and prior behavior in medical school. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:2673–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    McGee S. Evidence-based physical diagnosis. 2nd ed. St. Louis: Saunders/Elsevier; 2007.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ten Cate O. Nuts and bolts of entrustable professional activities. J Grad Med Educ. 2013;1:157–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    O’Mara D, et al. The Australian medical schools assessment collaboration: benchmarking the preclinical performance of medical students. Med J Aust. 2015;202:95–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Barnsley L, et al. Ratings of performance of graduates from traditional and nontraditional medical schools. Teach Learn Med. 1994;6:179–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Beyond Blue National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students, 2013. Accessed 8 June 2015.
  23. 23.
    Flynn E, Woodward-Kron R, Hu W. Training for staff who support students. Clin Teach. 2016;13:63–8. Accessed 8 Feb 2107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wooster E, et al. Updating CanMEDS in 2015: ensuring quality in the change process. J Grad Med Educ. 2014;6:796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lake F. Teaching on the run tips: doctors as teachers. Med J Aust. 2004;180:415–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Irby D, et al. The academy movement: a structural approach to reinvigorating the educational mission. Acad Med. 2004;79:729–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Flynn E, et al. The amazing case race for intern orientation. Med Educ. 2007;41:1100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
  29. 29.
    Conn JJ, et al on behalf of the Australian Diabetes Society. Enhancing your consulting skills-supporting self-management and optimizing mental health in people with type 1 diabetes. Canberra: National Diabetes Service Scheme; 2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical EducationUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations