We argue for the radical rethinking of medical education, and suggest that shortening medical school education is one approach to address the need for change in the post-Flexnerian era. Doing so would offer highly qualified students the opportunity to fulfill their medical school requirements in three years, without compromising the quality of their education.
My symptoms were eventually diagnosed as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks itself. My search online yielded a website that charted survival in vague terms, claiming 90% of lupus patients lived five years post-diagnosis while 75% made it to 10 years and only 65% made it 15 years. For someone in her early 20s, those odds weren't reassuring. I knew as a journalist that information was power and never in my life had I felt so incredibly powerless. So, I set out on a mission to learn as much about lupus as I could. I never dreamed that journey would eventually lead me to medical school.
As medical educators, the most important message that we can send to our students is this: "Keep the patient at the center of everything you do." Patients visit doctors seeking help and hope. They are looking for guidance during difficult times, and they need to be treated with compassion and sensitivity.