Medical Education vs Medical Journalism

Medical educators (sometimes called clinician educators or academic clinicians) often think of their* jobs as teaching our own students…those who are in medical school, residency, fellowship…as well as those who attend lectures and conferences…etc.

Sometimes the best educators are not even known beyond their own school, because they are so focused on teaching their own local students that they have omitted the ultimate reach in medical education, the broad base of physicians, patients, and other interested parties that can benefit from their knowledge and expertise. So who has capitalized on this? Medical journalists. I have no problem with medical journalists for the most part, as they play an integral role in the dissemination of important health information to the general public.  Medical journalists have learned how to do this, and what skills are needed to do it effectively, whereas most medical educators come about it by picking up skills over time without formal training.

Somehow the twain need to come together. The explosion of social media, blogs, Twitter, and so forth, and their uses in healthcare (#hcsm) has provided an amazing opportunity for medical educators to learn about medical journalism. In this sense, I am not talking necessarily about publishing within scientific journals (as often those who publish here are NOT the best educators). #hcsm is just a natural extension of the broad role that medical educators have played over the last several decades. Let us embrace it.

*Even though I use the “third person” in this blogpost, it could really be written in the first person (either singular OR plural)!!


About Ryan Madanick, MD

I am a gastroenterologist who specializes in diseases of the esophagus, with a strong interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients who have difficult-to-manage esophageal problems such as refractory GERD. I can be followed on Twitter: @RyanMadanickMD (he/him)
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1 Response to Medical Education vs Medical Journalism

  1. Baillie says:

    Is this what you mean? (Warning – slow as molasses, so you might want to multi-task.) It’s just a guide for the books, mind you, and I don’t think you need it, but the web pages are informative in case you want to read them. The books, I mean.

    The essays are very well written, not dumbed-down, and fascinating, despite going back, some of them, more decades than I do. They weave the medical with all the varied factors that make up an excellent human-interest detective tale.

    UNC’s probably got copies (it’s two volumes), or your med librarian should be able to find them for you inter-library loan. Librarian Baillie Daughter # 1 is pretty sure Wilson’s library still has them, and will be happy to personally pull them from the shelves if contacted. Med Librarian (Former-Baillie) Daughter #2 at Wayne Memorial is at your service, too, even if she doesn’t know it yet; ditto Med Librarian-Son-in-Law, who shares the same job. (After that, I can only offer the one ragged little taped-together volume I’ve got, because I’ve run out of librarians.)

    They’re well-worth hinting about to wives for birthdays, etc, but she might have a hard time finding the original two-volume hardcover set, so I should start hinting early if I were you. Cozy good re-reading on a winter’s eve…


    PS. Tornado went right by us, about a block away. We have a nice sampling of other people’s insulation adorning our oak trees and there’s some mangled tin-sheeting on the roof.

    It did NOT sound like a freight train.

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