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Substantial Matters: Life & Science of Parkinson’s

Mar 26, 2019

How medical education is structured affects doctors in training, and thus, how they practice later on. Their level of experience with different diseases and conditions determines how they will be able to diagnose and treat the people who come to them for help. Given the relatively limited time for medical school and advanced training in light of the vast variety of diseases, medical educators have to be selective about what they require trainees to experience.

A core curriculum gives medical students exposure to various medical specialties in their “rotations,” in which they spend several weeks at a time in one specialty area. Trainees have some leeway in what electives they wish to pursue beyond the core curriculum. As important as neurology is, often trainees are not required to take it, and some elect not to. Dr. Sagari Bette of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, says it is important for medical students to get a good foundation in neurology and movement disorders early in order for them to best care for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders once they are in practice. She explains how medical education is done now and proposes how it could be improved in the future, including the use of educational videos.