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What is the relevance of basic sciences in undergraduate medical education?

Undergraduate Medical Education

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The first person to advocate for a change in the curriculum for medical students is the famous American educator Abraham Flexner. Flexner persuaded the importance of teaching the basic sciences for understanding clinical studies, which is why it is also known as the preclinical curriculum. 

Without a strong background in the sciences, a physician would be nothing more than a technician. He or she will lack instinctive knowledge and follow algorithms for diagnosis and patient management. In the real world, doctors work in a very stressful environment needing to make crucial decisions every day. 

The main role of the basic sciences in the curriculum is to teach students other aspects of healthcare and medicine— such as preventive healthcare, treating patients, and promoting good health. 

Are you aspiring to do an MD from a renowned world institute? Check out an overview of the basic sciences program to know what to expect. 

Let us discuss the relevance of basic sciences and their role in undergraduate medical education in this blog post. 

What is a Basic Sciences Course for Medical Students? 

It is natural for students to not be able to retain a plethora of information they have studied in school. Basic sciences in undergraduate programs help revisit the lessons and improve the understanding of medicine at large.  

It is primarily a course designed to help students become doctors. There have been many discussions on whether basic sciences should be part of an MD course for physicians. Some good institutes even train their students by offering them first-hand clinical experience, hospital-based research, etc. 

A look into the following aspects will provide you with a more specific understanding.

What are the sciences that constitute the foundation of medical practice? 

The traditional basic sciences that are the foundation of medical practice are– Physiology, Immunology or microbiology, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pathology, and pharmacology. 

In Basic Science courses today, the primary goal is to teach what is still relevant to understanding human health and disease. Its contribution goes way beyond building factual knowledge. It helps you to think critically and offers a framework to look at human bodies and diseases. A better and deeper understanding of basic sciences will enable a doctor to make the right decisions in more critical clinical situations. 

What is the value of foundational science in medical education?

The basic sciences offer the very foundation on which doctors can make health decisions. For example, to identify abnormalities, a physician must know what can be considered normal. In this way, basic sciences offer effective thinking skills.

A physician who can take calls during a critical medical diagnosis is also likely to discover or develop new approaches in the field of medicine. 

Basic sciences provide a doctor with these parameters. With the cycle of recognition, classification, diagnosis, and then treatment, the process becomes easier. 

Besides its practical and long-term advantage for a future doctor. Basic Sciences will also extensively help you prepare for the USMLE Step 1 exam. Likewise, USMLE-2 is also part of the Clinical Knowledge program. Clearing the two will enable students to land clinical residencies in the US. 

So take the first step to your journey of becoming a doctor by enrolling in a Basic Sciences MD program today.