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The new media and the acceleration of medical education

James Hess (OSU Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)
Kayse Shrum (OSU Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 27 September 2011




Medical education in the USA has historically been designed around social and economic conditions within the medical community, contributing to a fluctuating emphasis on the number of medical schools, as well as the methods by which medicine has been taught, and ultimately leading to a shortage in the physician supply. This paper aims to describe the current status of medical education training, including the tracing of its origins, and to articulate the ability of new media to accelerate and restructure the physician preparation process.


The application of new media requires a rethinking of long‐held assumptions regarding the medical education process. Medical school faculty must be willing to develop new curriculum models, integrating new media technologies to facilitate varied learning modalities. Likewise, clinicians and basic scientists in medical schools must determine the most appropriate information needed by a practicing physician and make that information available via new media platforms.


The utilization of new media presents the opportunity to both accelerate and restructure the medical education and training process. The development of teaching and learning modalities via new media can positively impact the physician supply problem by transforming medical education to a competency and evidence‐based curriculum in an accelerated format.


The impending health consequences of a physician shortage have crystallized the need to begin immediately to expand the physician supply. In order to meet the health needs of a growing and aging population, it is imperative that the methods of medical education be altered to accelerate and improve the physician preparation process. This restructuring of the medical education curriculum is dependent on the utilization of new media to leverage the digital literacy of today's medical students.



Hess, J. and Shrum, K. (2011), "The new media and the acceleration of medical education", On the Horizon, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 331-340.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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