ABSTRACT: New directions in medical education related to psychiatry
Abstract The 100-year anniversary of the Flexner report provides an opportunity to reflect on the future of medical education. We will consider the legacy of the original report, the centenary follow up to that report and consider how these, in concert with emerging learning theories, will influence medical education. We first provide a brief overview of the original Flexner report and review the recommendations of the 2010 centenary follow up to the report. We then discuss some of the major developments in learning theory and consider how they have influenced medical education. In general, there has been a gradual shift from passive to active methods, spurred in part by constructivist theories of learning. Many of the attitudes and skills required are particular strengths of the psychiatrist, making psychiatric educators particularly suitable to lead curricular change. Although much literature is devoted to determining the ‘best’ educational method, we take an ecumenical approach, suggesting that the various pedagogical approaches are all legitimate educational tools from which to choose. Each has its strength and limitations, and when designing a curriculum we should consider these when making pedagogical choices. We finish with some practical advice for those contemplating curricular change.