Thursday, July 06, 2006

Teaching medicine - see one, do one, teach one

Medicine ( especially the surgical branches) are the ultimate "hands-on" profession ! How do we teach medical students and residents how to perform medical procedures and operations ? The aphorism is - "See one; Do one; Teach one". Of course, in real life, it's more like, " See ten; do ten; botch one; teach one". Before you can teach one, you usually need to "botch one " - and every good teacher would agree that you learn more from your mistakes than from the straightorward, "uneventful" procedures.
Is this fair on the patients ? Not always, but this is the occupation hazard of being a patient in a teaching hospital. Fortunately, the "errors" are often easily corrected, and don't result in any lasting harm.

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