Slow medical education

Acad Med. 2015 Mar;90(3):289-93. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000581.


Slow medical education borrows from other "slow" movements by offering a complementary orientation to medical education that emphasizes the value of slow and thoughtful reflection and interaction in medical education and clinical care. Such slow experiences, when systematically structured throughout the curriculum, offer ways for learners to engage in thoughtful reflection, dialogue, appreciation, and human understanding, with the hope that they will incorporate these practices throughout their lives as physicians. This Perspective offers several spaces in the medical curriculum where slowing down is possible: while reading and writing at various times in the curriculum and while providing clinical care, focusing particularly on conducting the physical exam and other dimensions of patient care. Time taken to slow down in these ways offers emerging physicians opportunities to more fully incorporate their experiences into a professional identity that embodies reflection, critical awareness, cultural humility, and empathy. The authors argue that these curricular spaces must be created in a very deliberate manner, even on busy ward services, throughout the education of physicians.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Time Factors