Introduction to Medical and Other Ignorance
It turns out that asking a foundation to support your medical school prep class entitled “Introduction to Medical and Other Ignorance” is a tough sell.
But an Op/Ed in the New York Times by Jaime Holmes offers a humbling reminder as many of head back into the classroom that much of medicine and science remains unknown. Dr. Marlys Witte is a professor of surgery at the University of Arizona who initially (and rather unsuccessfully) pitched the Medical Ignorance course. She now runs a nationally recognized program where the unknown is at front and center of her curriculum. And she did not change the name of the program. Witte reasoned that hours of lectures on disease biochemistry, genetics, pathology and treatment were leaving students with the sense that medicine and medical research were areas that were largely understood when in fact we know desperately little about many devastating disorders.
I’m absolutely guilty of the same thing at times and will be thinking about this model for education as I try to shed a few more powerpoints from my teaching repertoire. Pretty sure nobody will miss them.
Watch Marlys Witte speak on the importance of promoting the questioning mind here.