NYU Med Students Get to See Patients on First Day

When you think of first-year medical students, you probably think of them listening to lectures, jotting notes about diseases and dissecting specimens in a lab. Not long ago, you would have been right. Medical students had to wait until their third year before they could see patients.
That’s not the case at New York University School of Medicine. Students get to see patients on their first day of class.
“I am possibly the worst patient in the world to have,” an H.I.V.-positive tuberculosis patient said to the first-year medical students in an NYU lecture hall as they attentively scribbled notes. “I thought I had the common cold. It went on for months.”
Universities like NYU and Harvard University are rethinking the model for modern education. Typically, students spend two years studying various foundational sciences like gross anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, virology and pathology. After that, students finally get to meet patients and spend two years in clinical studies.
There’s concern that recent curricula may produce doctors who are impersonal and lack humanity. People like Dr. Steven B. Abramson, the medical school’s vice dean for education, are wondering if medical schools are teaching students to see patients as diseases rather than as whole people.
In an effort to make medical students more involved with their patients, rather than just their diseases, NYU’s new curriculum brings in a more “hands-on” approach.
According to the New York Times, Dr. Abramson said instead of playing with blocks, the medical students are learning to play well with patients.
Via The New York Times
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