Rethinking Medical Education

Questions, observations and recommendations toward reform of the process and content.

Some readings for your consideration

Some readings for your consideration
The references below are meant for anyone who has an interest in understanding aspects of the teaching-learning process from a broader perspective than is usually available from the occasional education-oriented article appearing in the clinical or biological research literature they may routinely peruse, or even from intermittent scanning of the medical education literature. Each reference below offers some consolidation of findings and perspectives from multiple sources. I offer them hoping that you will find they provide you with a broader and deeper appreciation for the complex, fascinating process of human learning than may be available from more conventional sources. Several of these references are books that were written for the general public, not for health professions educators. I’m persuaded that they can be helpful to people who are serious about being effective educators and who appreciate good writing that is meant for a broadly educated, non-specialized audience.
I hope you find some fresh ideas and new directions here. I will supplement and refine this list from time to time, and I will add brief, specific commentaries as my time permits. 
Donovan MS, Bransford JD, Pellegrino JWHow People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice. Washington, DC: National Academies, 2000.
Gardner H. Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century. New York: Basic Books, 2000.
Gardner HChanging Minds: the Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People’s Minds. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2004.
Gawande, ABetter: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance. Picador. 2008.
Gigerenzer G. Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious. Viking Adult, 2007.
Goleman DEmotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (10th anniversary ed.). New York: Bantam, 2005.
Goleman DSocial Intelligence: the New Science of Human Relationships. New York: Bantam, 2006.
Heath C, Heath DMade to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. Random House, 2007
Jason H. The importance–and limits–of best evidence medical education. Education for Health 13: 9 –13, 2000. (available online)
Jason H. CLAUDE BERNARD DISTINGUISHED LECTURE: Becoming a truly helpful teacher: considerably more challenging, and potentially more fun, than merely doing business as usual. Advances in Physiology Education, 31: 312-317, Dec 2007 (available online)
Marchese TJ. New Horizons for Learning. The New Conversations About Learning: Insights From Neuroscience and Anthropology, Cognitive Science and Workplace Studies (available  online). [Oct 2007].
MacDonald M. Your Brain: The Missing Manual. Pogue Press, 2008.
Montgomery K. How doctors think. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Schacter DLHow the Mind Forgets and Remembers: the Seven Sins of Memory. London: Souvenir, 2003.

Squire LR, Kandel ERMemory: From Mind to Molecules. New York: Owl Books, 2000.
Stern DT. Measuring Medical Professionalism. Oxford University Press, USA, 2005.
Vella JLearning to Listen, Learning to Teach: the Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults. San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2002.
Weimer MLearner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice. San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2002.

I invite your comments on any of the entries above, and please share your suggestions of other references that should be added to this list.


  Hill Jason 
Hilliard Jason, MD, EdD
First posted: 8/16/08
Revised 11/17/08

From Rethinking Medical Education goto:


  1. This is a wonderful blog, and should be a terrific forum for interaction around humanism in medical education.

    I would like to recommend the monograph by our mutual friend Ed Eckenfels, “Doctors Serving People: Restoring Humanism to Medicine through Student Community Service”. It would be a good addition to your suggested reading list.

  2. Yes, indeed, Steve. Thanks for leaving your nice comment and for your good suggestion. Ed’s book was already on my list of items to add. Your note has helped get me to take action a little more quickly than I might have done otherwise.

    All the best,

    – Hill

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A little about me

A little about me

Hilliard ("Hill") Jason, MD, EdD I've spent more than a half-century doing what I could to understand and help enhance the medical education process, mainly in the US, but occasionally in 36 other countries. I was responsible for the 2 largest multi-institutional studies of medical teaching ever done. My wife, Jane Westberg, PhD, and I have collaborated in writing 7 academic books and creating 60 educational videos on aspects of health professions education. Among other positions, I was Founding Director of the Office of Medical Education Research and Development at Michigan State University and Founding Director of the Division of Faculty Development at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). For 2 years I was Scholar in Residence at the National Library of Medicine. I've been a professor at 5 US medical schools. (Happily, all my departures were voluntary.) ;-) Since 1990 I've been Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center. • To view a fuller biography (CV), please click here. • To view an interview of me done for Education for Health, please click here. • To view an interview of me done for Advances in Health Sciences Education, please click here.
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