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Medical Education Reimagined: A Call to Action

Prober, Charles G. MD; Khan, Salman

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182a368bd

The authors propose a new model for medical education based on the “flipped classroom” design. In this model, students would access brief (~10 minute) online videos to learn new concepts on their own time. The content could be viewed by the students as many times as necessary to master the knowledge in preparation for classroom time facilitated by expert faculty leading dynamic, interactive sessions where students can apply their newly mastered knowledge.

The authors argue that the modern digitally empowered learner, the unremitting expansion of biomedical knowledge, and the increasing specialization within the practice of medicine drive the need to reimagine medical education. The changes that they propose emphasize the need to define a core curriculum that can meet learners where they are in a digitally oriented world, enhance the relevance and retention of knowledge through rich interactive exercises, and facilitate in-depth learning fueled by individual students’ aptitude and passion. The creation and adoption of this model would be meaningfully enhanced by cooperative efforts across medical schools.

Dr. Prober is senior associate dean for medical education and professor of pediatrics, microbiology, and immunology, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Mr. Khan is founder and executive director, Khan Academy, Mountain View, California.

Funding/Support: None.

Other disclosures: Sal Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy.

Ethical approval: Not applicable.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Prober, Office of the Dean, 291 Campus Dr., Stanford, CA 94305-5101; e-mail:

© 2013 by the Association of American Medical Colleges