Medical Education

Medical education is constantly evolving and improving to equip medical students with the much-needed expertise and experience to offer quality medical services to patients. Traditionally, medical education in the 19th and 20th centuries was of low standards and was characterized by low quality and unsafe education for medical students (Collado-Yurrita et al., 2018). However, there has been a constant development of quality healthcare through time, which has ended up with modern medical education. The evolution in the quality and scope of medical education has had an effect that is seen as progressive on the quality of education experienced by the clinical students. Medical education content is occasionally revised following the other breakthroughs, the evolution of social issues, and the delivery system changes. For instance, the emphasis on medical care has shifted from treating acute illnesses to managing chronic illnesses and the physician’s ability to treat problems. Therefore, to maintain the fundamentals of science and clinical curriculum, the medical educators have come up with modeled instructions around the management of chronic illnesses and included topics and themes such as pain management, palliative care, and curriculum. In addition, medical education also includes enhanced instructions on disease prevention, promotion, communication, and emergency preparedness.

The Changing Scope of Medical Education

The quality, as well as the scope of medical education, has expanded exponentially since the start in the late 1750s, with the transition in the quality of care has helped to improve the overall performance of the health practitioners and advance their experience and expertise within the medical profession (Tsai et al., 2017). Since the start, medical education has played a critical role in training health practitioners and equipping them with the essential tools and proficiency to meet the patients’ physical, psychological, and emotional needs. In the early 19th century, medical schools become the essential vehicle of medical instructions in the US. In the 1800s, there were only four medical schools and by the 19th century, many medical schools had come up, which indicated the need for more proficient medical practitioners. Ever since the 19th century, medical education has systematically provided teachings that have improved how healthcare is provided over time. By the middle of the 19th century, medical education had superseded apprenticeship as the principal pathway of the curriculum (Chen et al., 2017). Although the first schools were built on flimsy ambitions, the quality of instructions and curriculum at the preparatory schools has rapidly deteriorated, even on today’s standards.

Apprenticeship model and academic model of medical education

The apprenticeship model enables the learners to acquire skills through observing the experts at work, usually the doctors, and later similarly apply learned skills in their practice. The model was not regulated and had low-quality outcomes, with the students did not show any possession of adequate expertise and skills to perform any medical procedure. Most importantly, as a form of medical education, the apprenticeship model possessed low standards and offered little professional training to the participants (Rassie, 2017). On the other hand, the academic model was also predominant during this era, and it focused on providing theoretical knowledge on sciences related fields to students. In the early 1800s, there was less research in the crucial aspects of medical education. This process meant that the curriculum system’s science skills were limited. The models also affected the quality of healthcare delivery, with the apprenticeship model focused mainly on practical skills. In contrast, the academic model focused on offering theoretical knowledge to the learners. The two models were not regulated and had shallow standards as they offered low-quality education to the learners. Therefore, contemporary education has come in to offer intellectual and practical skills that provide contemporary medical education that equip the students with the necessary knowledge for future use in their practice.

Importance of the history of medicine

It is important to understand the history of medicine to improve medical education. As modern medicine education developed in the 21st century, clinical education for medical learners is under constant development because of the constant change in the processes and demographics for the patients they serve and the economic and organizational changes in the healthcare system adopted to address the issues. According to Castiglioni (2019), understanding the history of education is essential to attainment and improvement of the change in the medical education that healthcare students learn today. Therefore, the understanding of traditional medical education is a crucial highlight of the areas of weakness and where to improve. This learning helps develop effective standards, methods, and procedures that have assisted in improving the overall quality of modern medical education. In this regard, traditional medical education has been important in laying the foundation that is key to the development and innovation of modern education in medicine. Today, modern medicine and education look to the future and develop a curriculum centered on a sequence of clinical cases that employ emerging technologies. Therefore, the history of medicine lays the groundwork for improving medical educations.


Castiglioni, A. (2019). A history of medicine. Routledge.

Chen, F., Lui, A. M., & Martinelli, S. M. (2017). A systematic review of the effectiveness of flipped classrooms in medical education. Medical education51(6), 585-597.

Collado-Yurrita, L., Ciudad-CabaƱas, M. J., & Cuadrado-Cenzual, M. A. (2018). Evolution of medical education in the Department of Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid in the last decade. Medical teacher40(5), 449-452.

Rassie, K. (2017). The apprenticeship model of clinical medical education: time for structural change. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online)130(1461), 66. Tsai, S. L., Tseng, F. Y., Chu, T. S., Lee, M. B., Hsieh, B. S., & Chang, S. C. (2017). Cultural Considerations of Reform and Evolution of Medical Education. 21(4), 137-