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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kathryn Parker, MA, PhD (The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences)
Description: This book provides medical educators with theoretical and practical insights into the definition and development of excellence in medical education.
Purpose: The purpose is to aid medical educators in the pursuit of excellence in medical education, to prepare a generation of future medical practitioners who have the capacity to shape the future of healthcare in the United States. Informed by pedagogical theories, this book argues that medical educators should not only be cognizant of how adults learn and characteristics of learners and great medical educators, but also have a vision of how excellence in medicine will be defined in the future and how organizations may best position themselves to enable these future practitioners to excel.
Audience: This is a book for medical educators. With a background both in medicine and education, Dr. Gunderman is a credible authority.
Features: This book attempts to cover a vast subject in less than 200 pages. That said, the author addresses the key issues in educational excellence. The chapter on the theoretical insights into medical education is particularly thorough and relevant. Adult learning theories and other aspects of cognitive psychology are appropriately highlighted in this chapter. Application of these theories to the practice of medical education is not discussed and might prove valuable in a subsequent edition. The use of theory in practice is not extensive in medical education texts and it is refreshing to see the author including these theories early in this book. The only shortcoming is not a great criticism but deserves mention. I would have liked to have the patient perspective incorporated a little more extensively. If collaborative, patient-centered care is advocated as the future of healthcare, additional emphasis on interprofessionalism is warranted.
Assessment: This is a valuable book for medical educators. While not a recipe book for how to incorporate best practices into medical education, it does serve as a catalyst for further discussion on both the definition of excellence in medical education and how to best prepare our students, faculty, and organizations to shape the future of excellence in healthcare.