STAT

Medical students are skipping class in droves — and making lectures increasingly obsolete

The future doctors of America cut class. Not to gossip in the bathroom or flirt behind the bleachers. They skip to learn — at twice the speed.

Some medical students follow along with class remotely, watching sped-up recordings of their professors at home, in their pajamas. Others rarely tune in. At one school, attendance is so bad that a Nobel laureate recently lectured to mostly empty seats.

Nationally, nearly one-quarter of second-year medical students reported last year that they “almost never” attended class during their first two, preclinical years, a 5 percent increase from 2015.

The AWOL students highlight increasing dissatisfaction and anxiety that there’s a mismatch between what they’re taught in class during those years and what they’re expected to know — or how they’re tested — on national licensing exams. Despite paying nearly $60,000 a year in tuition, medical students are turning to unsanctioned online resources to prepare for Step 1, the make-or-break test typically taken at the end of the preclinical years.

These self-guided med students are akin to a group of American tourists wandering through Tokyo without a map. Like a tour guide

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT4 min readPsychology
It’s Not Just Bosses Who Harass Health Workers: Hospitals Start Addressing Patients’ ‘Egregious’ Behavior
There's growing awareness that it’s not just bosses and colleagues who sexually harass health care workers. Often, it’s the patients who are doing the harassing.
STAT5 min readPolitics
Opinion: Wider Use Of Assisted Outpatient Treatment Could Help Individuals With Mental Illness
Many states still rely on laws that require individuals to become dangerous to themselves or others before they can be treated without their consent. We need laws that that prevent…
STAT9 min readWellness
‘The Switch’ Was Supposed To Be A Major Step Toward Eradicating Polio. Now It’s A Quandary
A change in polio vaccination policies was supposed to put the world on a better footing to finally eliminate a global scourge. It's gotten complicated.