Basic Sciences in Medical Education: From Flexner to Today (IAMSE Report on Basic Sciences in Medical Education)

Presented by Edward P. Finnerty, Ph.D., SC(ASCP) on March 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm

A major legacy of Flexner’s 1910 report was the introduction of scientific rigor and its inclusion in the medical education curriculum. ¬†The result has been a dynamic evolutionary process. ¬†Today, though medical education looks far different from Flexner’s time, in many ways it is similar.¬† In celebration of Flexner’s Centennial the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) initiated a project to examine the role and value of the basic sciences in medical education.¬† We endeavored to determine What constitutes the sciences basic to medicine; What is the role and value of these foundational sciences; Where and how they should be incorporated in the curriculum and How best to assess the learning of these principles. ¬†Through a collaborative approach involving a variety of medical educators we have focused on addressing the following question:

  1. What is the value and role of the foundational sciences in medical education?
  2. What are the sciences that constitute the foundation for medical practice of the future?
  3. When and how should these foundational sciences be incorporated into the medical education curriculum?
  4. What sciences could/should be pre-requisite components of the undergraduate medical curriculum (i.e. be part of the pre-medical requirements)?
  5. What are examples of the best practices for incorporation of the foundational sciences in the medical education curriculum (including methods for assessment)?

This presentation will be a summary report of the findings of our project.