Teaching, Medicine, and the Learning Curve | November Editor’s Choice

Teaching, Medicine, and the Learning Curve | November Editor’s Choice


By Aparna Alankar| Senior Editor

Illustration by: Sorasicha Nithikasem| Director of Art & Layout

In the Spring 2010 issue of the Medical Dialogue Review, Parth Patel writes about the relationship between medical care and teaching in his article, “Teacher First, Healer Second” (2010).  The word doctor is derived from the Latin term for “teach” (docere), and therefore, Parth argues, a doctor should be more of a teacher than a healer. In his article, Parth discusses the similarities between the teaching and medical professions, compares the patient-physician interaction to the student-teacher encounter, and mentions some of the obstacles currently present to physicians involved in academic medicine.

Parth concludes the article by touching upon a critical aspect of teaching while simultaneously providing medical care—the compromise. Doctors, Parth writes, must deal not only with the logistical challenges involved in teaching but also with the reality that comes with caring for people while teaching (2010). From here, Parth cites the difficulty of making time in the already packed medical training schedule for educational courses aiming to improve a doctor’s teaching ability. By this point, however, I was reminded of a different reality, one where providing medical students and interns opportunities to practically learn procedures can actually end up compromising patient care itself. Atul Gawande writes as much in the very first chapter of his book, Complication: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science (2002).

The first chapter is titled “Education of a Knife”—a title which, as readers quickly realize, is uniquely appropriate. Gawande begins by describing a patient who needs a central line, and then the intern, four weeks into surgical training, who is tasked with this procedure—his “first real procedure.” From here, Gawande describes the intern’s nervousness, and then the insertions of the three-inch needle into the patient’s chest as he attempts to put in the central line—once, twice, three times, until the chief resident finally takes over and finishes the procedure, later telling the intern that he should not worry too much about how things had gone, and that it just takes practice. Confidence, Gawande reflects, is integral to the education of a knife— “in surgery, as in anything else, skill and confidence are learned through experience—haltingly and humiliatingly…like the tennis player and the oboist and the guy who fixes hard drives, we need practice to get good at what we do…there is one difference in medicine, though: it is people we practice on” (2002).

It is this quote of Gawande that Parth’s article brought back to me. One of the greatest compromises in modern medical teaching is that of patient care itself. As Gawande writes, “by traditional ethics and public insistence, a patient’s right to the best care possible must trump the objective of training novices…we want perfection without practice.” Yet there is currently no system in place to make this ideal a reality, and, in fact, it may be entirely wishful thinking. Is teaching integral to medicine? Absolutely. But as to how exactly medical students might acquire the knowledge and practical skills needed to become successful physicians without compromising quality of patient care—the answer here is less certain.  


Gawande, Atul. Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science. Picador, 2002.

Patel, P. Teacher First, Healer Second. NYU Medical Dialogue Review. 2010;4(2):14-17.

Input your search keywords and press Enter.

do penis pills work male enhancement surgery lincoln nw what is in extenze male enhancement over the counter penis enlargement pills ready man male enhancement regenica male enhancement red pill natural male enhancement safe male enhancement suppplements swiss navy size male enhancement review penis enlargement testimonies penis enlargement in miami fl best male enhancement pills in the market penis enlargement md real penis enlargement best ed drug for performance anxiety male libido enhancer reviews how to crush pills low sex drive supplement womne sex ed movie pills sam e supplement wikipedia diabetic erectile dysfunction medicine natural medicine for hormone imbalance erection pills walgreens enzyte male enhancement order account extenze boner pill how to change sex with hormone pills kingsize male enhancement penis size pill vitarect male enhancement pills goldreallas male enhancement best ball ring for male enhancement mega results pills penis enlargement that really work lotus pills sex turquoise penis enlargement surgery befor3 after male enhancement to cum pills that adds 4inchs to your penis erection pills for young men sex enhancement narcotics sex on pain pills addict p 20 blue pill xtra innings male enhancement pills viagra pills for cheap enlarge your penis size natural pills to increase blood flow to penis star sx male enhancement reviews

cbd for nausea cbd edible oil cbd oil pain cbd oil greenwood indiana prescription cbd oil phone repairs melbourne cbd how to extract cbd from hemp how to make cbd eye drops cbd oil and ssri cbd legal in arizona cbd oil and nausea mr chow sydney cbd will cbd oil show in a drug test cbd oil business plan where to buy cbd clinic does cbd oil help with colds cbd oil balm uses can you buy cbd oil in arizona does cbd test positive on a drug test cbd oil great falls mt cbd dosage for osteoporosis cbd american shaman water soluble cbd kratom shop cbd oil wisconsin 2020 cbd oil for alopecia will cbd show in urine test does cbd oil help gout where to buy cbd in ct can military spouses use cbd oil cbd testing tested cbd products cbd oil high quality sparkling cbd cbd products at walmart cbd oil purpose hempvive cbd oil cbd oil dosage for anxiety reddit cbd lord jones slactavis cbd vapor temp of cbd oil cbd oil hemp balm health benefits of cbd oil can you take cbd oil with levothyroxine cbd nation cbd oil applicators vs drops chong cbd

safe weight loss pills instant pot recipes keto diet free weight loss pills for men is diet important for weight loss weight loss pills sold in walmart home diet remedies for weight loss coconut oil pills to lose weight best weight loss pills 2020 in australia protein diets to lose weight do pills to lose weight work honest keto diet pills reviews what to eliminate from your diet to lose weight keto diet pills order weight loss pills channel 7 greek yogurt keto diet recipes teenage diet plans to lose weight 5 steps to lose weight on keto diet worlds best weight loss diet plan copy of la weight loss diet plan best weight loss pills for women over 35 weight loss low calorie diet most successful weight loss diets weight loss diet plan for a positive blood group mega green tea weight loss pills weight loss pills tsa diet chart for weight loss for girls indian best rapid weight loss pills for morbidly obese mexican weight loss pills 3 months qualifications for weight loss pills what is a good diet plan to lose weight keto pills reviews effective weight loss pills for women diet soda weight loss reddit candace cameron weight loss diet ornish diet weight loss diet for elderly to lose weight mayo clinic cardiac weight loss diet the best balanced diet for weight loss weight loss diet for women app 1300 calories diet for 30 day weight loss hard diet plan for weight loss how to take raspberry ketone diet pills shark tank best diet products for weight loss diet for teenager to lose weight quick weight loss diet plan 1 week vegan diet weight loss meal plan

high vg vape juice murphree vapor efficiency brotherhood vape smoking weed with a cold luckys vape wichita ks manhattan mod vape chill vape juice steeping vape juice rebuild vape coil vapor pen reviews huge vape clouds unicorn treats vape juice highest watt vape mod thick smoke vape juice ecig stick vapor pen review ivap ecig what wire are in uwell crown lost coast eliquid smok g priv gold kit vaping at 400 watts high times vape review does vaping ruin your teeth navy e cigarette policy vaping death oregon voopoo drag getting hot smok slim uwell crown 3 shops seattle vape to cigarette ratio smok infinix starter kit 36mg e juice grenade vape ravage 230 ecigarette wicks smok qbox coils fname tanks for box mods for vaping tfv8 kit vick vaporub cream smok 2 vape mod accessories smok coming out from the bottom of xname grill sativa vape cleaning the uwell tank primera e cigarette voopoo drag wont recognize cleito coil how long does vaping cbd last