Militant Medical and Health Education; A Holy Art!

Document Type : Editorial


Occupational and Environmental Health Division, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Canada

This editorial aims at exploring the centrifugal and centripetal forces in the process of effective medical education within the preceding, performing and following up the standard medical and health training. It advocates for magnifying the educators’ enthusiasm and energy in teaching. In this proactive school of thinking, educators more than students should keep themselves eager and disciplined!

 As an example, recall one of many TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks. Presenters are highly successful academics and non-academics (1) disseminators of science. The fact is that people who present TED talks have never been told what to talk about or how. Within each talk, passion plays an important role. The presenters are natural speakers that first communicate a love for science before they discuss the content.

Do your current lectures reach that level of efficacy? (2). Do we put in enough time to work on our presentations? The fact is that beyond a reasonable or even baseline level of adequacy in teaching, no credential incentives supports excellence (3-5). As a result a big subset of lecturers do not feel the need to play a wider role in the scientific discourse. Even if they do, how much do others hear about ‘down to business’ medical lecturers in the classroom in order to acknowledge them? --- Any publication in a highly prestigious medical journal receives general applause, doesn’t it? (6). The same professional recognition should be provided to educators who use their lectures to inspire the next generation of medical professionals.

The fact is that while some part of the knowledge of the educationist currently disseminates, there is no plan in place to support their urges in more efficient teaching. --- I would like to advocate for the adoption of a perspective anchored in passion; an educator as a militant person, who is simultaneously an activist, enthusiast and a devotee to the cause of medical education. How do you actively involve yourself in a resuscitation process for a near death person? --- Every second counts! The same should be applied to teaching time.

 How does militant medical education work?

Suggested militant medical education is a step towards an evolutionary perspective in teaching which promotes the sharing of the educators’ passion. It is a call to mentorship for more engagement and action, and to ignite enthusiasm among the students. --- Do not be passive in education, or so called “passion killers”.

Why not encourage talking dissent to seek opening up students’ participation? If one can apply strategies to intensify health concerns for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children, and the disadvantaged, they would encourage students to take responsibility in the process of education.

Through a militant education, embolden students to picture the pain and suffering of the sick, and escalate controversies to mobilize students’ attitudes. Inspire proficiency and offer meaningful mechanisms for navigating the students’ rage against illnesses and health injustices among less privileged populations as a part of your teaching (7).

Judiciously integrate passion into your teaching. Let students come out of the panopticon and feel and see the problems. Militant education is outreach, is caring, and is perseverance and resilience. It is having a fire in your heart. Medical education in this school is a holy art!  

Popularizing the history of medicine can help to inspire trainees (read 8). It provides attractive evidence and veracity of the postulate “caring is sharing the passion”! (9-23). Create an excited atmosphere in the classroom, discuss ethical dilemmas, provide pearls for the bedside and questions on the fly (24). These will unleash the craving as well as the potential of the students.

Heads up! The “lecturerosphere” is expanding rapidly, and is likely to do so for years to come. State-of-the-art trainee teaching activities including - what I would like to call it - militant education with their scholastic, scientific, and popularizing benefits will gain momentum soon in medial faculties. It has already done so in the case of public education and in the popularisation of science such as TED talks. --- Be inspiring, generate passion among the students, create opportunities for developing the hitherto neglected medial educational potentials. Do not fall behind the academic and non-academic militant educators! 

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