Future Trends

Updating medical education: Experts examine feedback, games and more

It’s 2015. Do you know where osteopathic medical education is heading? Here’s a sneak peek courtesy of the JAOA’s recent Twitter chat.


To discuss technological advances in the classroom and other new developments in medical education such as distance learning, The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) recently hosted a Twitter chat on osteopathic medical education with expert Tyler C. Cymet, DO, the guest editor of the JAOA’s medical education issue. The #JAOAMedEd conversation explored teaching tools like online patient simulations, hands-on technology assignments and distance learning.

How gaming helps future physicians

Researchers at the A.T. Still University-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) in Mesa helped introduce more than 80 games and virtual patient simulations into the curriculum for 550 osteopathic medical students. Here’s why Dr. Cymet, who is also the chief of clinical education at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), thinks these exercises are valuable.

Adam Hoverman, DO, an assistant professor of family medicine and global health at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine (PNWU-COM) in Yakima, Washington, offered his take on why osteopathic medical education must continue to evolve:

‘Ultrasound is the stethoscope of today’

Another JAOA study followed a group of first- and second-year osteopathic manipulative medicine students who successfully used ultrasonography to obtain images of different musculoskeletal structures in the body. Here’s why Dr. Cymet sees this technology taking hold in more classrooms.

Evolving the feedback sandwich

When giving feedback to osteopathic medical students and residents, some educators surround a critical remark with two positive comments—an approach known as a “feedback sandwich.” A new feedback model called CAST calls for instructors to offer four layers of feedback: which behaviors to continue, which to alter, which to stop, and what to try next time. This model is a more effective way of imparting feedback, which is a crucial part of medical education, says Dr. Cymet.

‘Learning to work in two worlds is increasingly important’

When students at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) in Athens look around the lecture hall, they’re seeing only a fraction of their classmates. OU-HCOM has an extension campus in Dublin and will open another in Cleveland next year. Dr. Cymet says teaching to such far-flung audiences can be challenging, but it’s a development that’s here to stay.

For more news and information on medical education, visit the JAOA.

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