Project Flexner has been created as a forum for medical education. This site will highlight new teaching methods, innovations in curriculum content and past educators in the field of medical education. A primary focus will be to encourage the use of new more active methods for learning and teaching the medical sciences. These methods take advantage of newly developed electronic tools for learning and communicating to transform the lecture hall into an interactive session that maintains the student's focus, creates two-way communication, enhances long-term memory and encourages understanding. Used in combination with textbooks, small group discussions and proper testing, medical and other health professions students will be able to bring a true understanding of preclinical science to the patient's bedside.
It has been nearly 100 years since the groundbreaking report of Dr. Abraham Flexner. He challenged the status quo, and revolutionized medical education. There is a again a crisis in health care and in medical education. There is now a projected shortage of physicians, and there is recognition that the present methods for teaching medical sciences are failing our students and our patients. All agree that change is absolutely necessary, but change must be based on a true understanding of how students learn and a national consensus on what should be taught, how it should be taught, and how our students' achievements should be evaluated. We view Project Flexner as the opening salvo in what promises to be a decade of continual change and improvement. The eventual goals will be to bring creativity and analytical skills, a true understanding of the remarkable advances in biomedical science, and a compassionate patient-centered systems-based approach to the care of our patients. This will require that we teach the values of our profession not through simple words, but by our deeds, by establishing systems that prevent errors and provide time to be with our patients. It will require that we teach for understanding and no longer stifle creativity and idealism. We must emphasize the establishment of long-term memories and analytical skills, and reward these achievements with the appropriate evaluation tools.
This is a challenging time in medical education. In the prior century Dr. Abraham Flexner revolutionized medical education. We are hoping that our website will in some small way contribute to needed changes in the 21st Century.
Frederick Southwick, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
University of Florida
Raj Mehta, M.D
Family Medicine Resident
University of Florida
We would like to thank Dr. Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig for providing historical facts and perspective. And we thank Dr. Kenneth Berns for suggesting the name Project Flexner.