To help prepare budding docs for a medical practice in a digital age, I offer an elective called "Personalized Medicine 101- Digitizing Diagnosis for Doctors". Personalized medicine is defined broadly in this elective, and I cover a range of topics intended to provide students who enroll in the course with background to mitigate the impending culture shock that would otherwise await them by the time they enter practice. This is due to the fact that most medical schools continue to provide largely the same educational and training experience that their predecessors had decades ago, before the human genome project and the internet.
Those who follow me on Twitter may have seen me use the #PM101 hashtag before. #PM101 serves as the 'filing cabinet' for tweets (often with links to important articles or news commentary) with information relevant to this medical elective. In fact, the original basis for my participation on Twitter derived solely from this function.
Students enrolled in PM101 must pass an open-book, take-home exam, which they are given several weeks to complete. They must answer any four of ten short answer/essay questions provided to them.
This week I've been tweeting each exam question upon completing it. For those who missed the tweeted questions, and might be interested in our approach to solving this MedEd predicament, all 10 questions are summarized below, exactly as tweeted:
Storify by @phylogenomics "#HeLa genome sequenced w/o consent" http://bitly.com/ZnL5M7 is now Q1 in #PM101 take-home exam. Welcome to #meded2
Q2 on #PM101 take-home exam asks how #personalizedmedicine might reduce a "culture of misdiagnosis". @DrLeanaWen @ArtsPractica @meganranney
Q3 on #PM101 take-home exam seeks input on the logic behind this topic in improving healthcare: bitly.com/V9RycL #PCOS #rheum
Q4 on #PM101 take-home exam: how you plan to adjust to ever-increasing sophistication of "Dr. Google" and his hordes of empowered patients?
Q5 on #PM101 take-home exam: Should #Ancestry be considered when formulating a diagnosis & treatment of individual patients? If so, how?
Q6 on #PM101 T-H exam: propose a model for repurposing #meded to include 'comprehensivist' training http://bitly.com/NsarG8
Q7 on #PM101 TH exam: discuss (De)Personalized Medicine: http://bitly.com/XHBQHk including #personalizedmedicine vs. #EBM.
Q8 on #PM101 TH exam: Assuming this became reality by 2023 http://bitly.com/1038Jkh , how would it change the way U practice medicine? #meded2
Q9 on #PM101 TH exam: Are #ePatients & SoMe interfering with or strengthening clinical science & clinical practice: http://bitly.com/11WwNFM
Q10 on #PM101 TH exam: By 2020, docs may routinely prescribe #mHealth Apps to patients. How best to integrate knowledge into core #meded?
The tweets are but brief paraphrases of the actual exam questions themselves, which are necessarily more elaborate for the sake of clarity and completeness. Nevertheless, this post provides a glimpse of particular topics I feel a doc-in-training should have an appreciation for prior to graduating from medical school.
I wish to thank several engaged souls on Twitter who provided the inspiration behind some of the questions appearing on the exam (several named above), including @PracticalWisdom who forwarded to me the link for Q9.