For all its traditional successes, the current model of medical education in the United States and Canada is being challenged on issues of quality, throughput, and cost, a process that has exposed numerous shortcomings in its efforts to meet the needs of the nations’ health care systems. A radical change in direction is required because the current path will not lead to a solution.
The 2010 publication Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency identifies several goals for improving the medical education system, and proposals have been made to reform medical education to meet these goals. Enacting these recommendations practically and efficiently, while training more health care providers at a lower cost, is challenging.
To advance solutions, the authors review innovations that are disrupting higher education and describe a vision for using these to create a new model for competency-based, learner-centered medical education that can better meet the needs of the health care system while adhering to the spirit of the above proposals. These innovations include collaboration amongst medical schools to develop massive open online courses for didactic content; faculty working in small groups to leverage this online content in a “flipped-classroom” model; and digital badges for credentialing entrustable professional activities over the continuum of learning.