The Asia-Pacific Scholar
Samarasekera, D.D. & Gwee, M.C.E.
During the years preceding 1910, the education and training of physicians (doctors)-to-be was based mainly on a master-apprentice model; the primary focus then was on the teaching and development of clinical skills.
In 1910, however, Flexner submitted a highly influential report to the American medical authorities: in it he recommended that all medical schools should be university-based and that, importantly, medical practice should have a scientific basis strongly underpinned by the basic medical sciences such as anatomy, biochemistry and physiology. Flexner’s1 recommendation was readily accepted, not only in the USA, but also globally- including Asia.
The recommendation of Flexner1 provided the impetus for the design of medical education that begins with a pre-clinical phase in which student learning will focus mainly on the acquisition of content knowledge derived from the basic medical sciences to provide the strong scientific foundation for the clinical phase that follows. During the clinical phase, student learning will focus primarily on the clinical sciences relating to the diagnosis, treatment and management of patient care.
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