How to Learn in the Health Professions

How to Learn in the Health Professions

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This is the textbook companion to Osmosis’s video series, “How to Succeed in the Health Professions.” How to Learn in the Health Professions helps Health Sciences faculty and students become better learners and teachers by sharing methods that have been shown to improve learning. Throughout the book we emphasize active learning strategies that maximize knowledge acquisition and retention, and the evidence base that supports them. We envision that this book can be used by individual learners at all stages, by themselves or in groups, or integrated into a curriculum on “how to learn.”

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About This Textbook

At Osmosis, our mission is to empower the world’s clinicians with the best learning experience possible. No matter how experienced someone might be when it comes to studying or acquiring new skills, research shows that people can always benefit from more effective learning strategies. This book will help Health Sciences faculty and students become better learners and teachers by sharing methods that have been shown to improve learning. Throughout the book we emphasize active learning strategies that maximize learning, and the evidence base that supports them.  

Section 1 of Learning in the Health Professions provides a foundation for understanding learning by describing what learning is and how learning works, and gives background on how routine and adaptive expertise can be developed in people studying the health professions. Section 2 moves on to six practical methods (testing effect, spaced repetition, interleaving, elaborative interrogation, concrete examples, and multimedia learning) that have been shown to enhance learning. These strategies are supported by decades of experimental evidence. Section 3 describes educational innovations that technology makes possible. We discuss blended learning, which combines online and live activities, and how it can be applied effectively. We then consider an emerging model—students creating teaching materials while they learn. When combined with the right technologies, this model allows students to contribute to the education of peers, individuals undergoing treatment, and society at large.

Each section contains both chapters that explain basic principles and demonstrations that describe the applications of those principles. The appendix includes a complete list of references and additional Osmosis resources, as well as exercises that can be used for individual reflection or in group settings.

This book is also intended to complement the existing Osmosis video series on learning in the health professions, which you can find on www.osmosis.org. We envision that this book can be used by individual learners at all stages, by themselves or in groups, or integrated into a curriculum on “how to learn.”

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