A BMJ Blog piece from Liyang Pan, who reflects on the teaching of guidelines and assessments that belies the reality and complexity of medicine.


Simplification has a place in medical education, says Liyang Pan, but shouldn’t be at the cost of teaching students about medicine’s complexity
After years of running the gauntlet of exams, drilling various clinical scenarios with my peers, and poring over seemingly bottomless question banks, I graduated from medical school. My medical school, like most in the UK, exposed us to a variety of specialties within a short space of time, and relied on a pool of multiple choice questions and a few clinical scenarios to test each cohort at the end of each year. Material was condensed to fit this format and complex issues were reduced to more manageable headlines. Consequently, I have been instilled with the idea of a single “right answer” and a “correct thing to do,” rather than the murky grey reality of a few “possible right answers” and “potentially good things to do in something similar to this situation.” This is not only unrealistic, it also stifles discussion and debate. .....

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