Summary: Dr Neel Sharma discusses the repetition in the use of methods in medical education and asks whether these methods work in all settings. Description: Numerous interventions take place in the domain of medical education in terms of teaching, learning and assessment for example. When a new intervention is broadcast significant hype ultimately follows. What is introduced at one academic centre is then adopted at another and the process subsequently snowballs. However is it not time we drew the line?

The multiple mini interview is one example of such which was introduced in a Western climate as a means of selection but has also been adopted in an Asian setting. Other examples include the global adoption of team based learning and portfolio based learning. And many more do exist. But one aspect we often forget is whether such Western heavy interventions work well in a multi-centre sense and vice versa?

In keeping with the reflective sense of this piece I ponder whether we should simply pause for a moment and as educators ask ourselves the following: What is the problem? Why is it a problem? And what can we do about it? Often medical students and juniors are quick to highlight the issues they see arising in terms of their training which should provide ample impetus to those seniors who are often far removed. One example I can provide are the non focused case based teaching sessions. These are often heavily research based which may benefit the presenter’s agenda but for those on the receiving end trainees would rather prefer concentrating more on what to do when we face such a patient on the ward or in clinic. A more academic interest can be developed later.

So in closing when we as educators feel the need to intervene let’s ask those three questions. More often than not our juniors will feedback. And in unison simple solutions can be offered which can be rapidly implemented without a complete 360 degree reversal with entirely new offerings.