A Thousand Words About Modern Medical Education: A Mini-Review Concerning the Theory of Education


  • Mustafa Hussein Ajlan Al-Jarshawi Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, United Kingdom; Leicester Medical School, University of Leicester, United Kingdom; Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Baghdad https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4600-2701
  • Ahmed Al-Imam Department of Computer Science and Statistics, Doctoral School, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland; PUMS Doctoral School, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland; Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Iraq https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1846-9424




Theory of Education, Bloom's taxonomy, FAIR principles, Gagné theory of learning, Harden's ten questions, Miller's pyramid, Outcome-based education, SMART method, SPICES model


The present article represents a mini-review and a reflective essay concerning modern medical education methods, as well as ways to adapt them to medical education's local conditions (disciplines), including basic medical sciences. We introduced Gagné's theory of learning and other theories – Constructivist, Experiential, and Humanistic – followed by Dennik's "twelve tips" for effective learning and Harden's ten questions for curriculum development. Outcome-based education (OBE) was discussed and related to relevant concepts within Miller's pyramid and Bloom's taxonomy. Harden's SPICES model was emphasized concerning education strategies while discussing the assessment of learning (AoL), assessment as learning (AaL), and assessment for learning (AfL). Finally, the authors advise exploring the adaptation of modern education methods for a specific discipline of basic medical sciences – Human Anatomy – by incorporating the abovementioned concepts and integrating different AfL and AaL assessment tools while conveying a graphical concept map for this scenario.


Download data is not yet available.


Rourke L, Leong J, Chatterly P. Conditions-based learning theory as a framework for comparative-effectiveness reviews: A worked example. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 2018;30(4):386–94. Doi: 10.1080/10401334.2018.1428611. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10401334.2018.1428611

Tambi R, Bayoumi R, Lansberg P, Banerjee Y. Blending gagne's instructional model with Peyton's approach to design an introductory bioinformatics lesson plan for medical students: proof-of-concept study. JMIR Medical Education. 2018;4(2):e11122. Doi: 10.2196/11122. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2196/11122

Dennick R. Twelve tips for incorporating educational theory into teaching practices. Medical Teacher. 2012;34(8):618–24. Doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.668244. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2012.668244

Sattar K. Ten questions to be answered before incorporating problem-based learning (PBL) into professionalism course. Education in Medicine Journal. 2019;11(1):59–69. Doi: 10.21315/eimj2019.11.1.8. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21315/eimj2019.11.1.8/eimj2019.11.1.8

Al-Eraky M, Marei H. A fresh look at Miller's pyramid: assessment at the 'Is' and 'Do' level. Medical education. 2016;50(12):1253–7. Doi: 10.1111/medu.13101. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.13101

Witheridge A, Ferns G, Scott-Smith W. Revisiting Miller's pyramid in medical education: the gap between traditional assessment and diagnostic reasoning. International Journal of Medical Education. 2019;10:191–92. Doi: 10.5116/ijme.5d9b.0c37. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5116/ijme.5d9b.0c37

Adams NE. Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive learning objectives. Journal of the Medical Library Association. 2015;103(3):152. Doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.103.3.010. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.103.3.010

Chatterjee D, Corral J. How to write well-defined learning objectives. The Journal of Education in Perioperative Medicine. 2017;19(4):E610. PMID: 29766034. DOI: https://doi.org/10.46374/volxix-issue4-chatterjee

Wong G. Is SMART really smart?. Education for Primary Care. 2014;25(2):76–7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14739879.2014.11494250

Stevenson R, Moore DE. Ascent to the summit of the CME pyramid. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2018;319(6):543–4. Doi: 10.1080/14739879.2014.11494250. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2017.19791

Wijnen-Meijer M, Van den Broek S, Koens F, Ten Cate O. Vertical integration in medical education: the broader perspective. BMC Medical Education. 2020;20(1):1–5. Doi: 10.1186/s12909-020-02433-6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-020-02433-6

Harden RM, Laidlaw JM. Be FAIR to students: four principles that lead to more effective learning. Medical Teacher. 2013;35(1):27–31. Doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.732717.

Schuwirth LW, Van der Vleuten CP. Programmatic assessment: from assessment of learning to assessment for learning. Medical Teacher. 2011;33(6):478–85. Doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2011.565828. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2011.565828

Schellekens LH, Bok HG, de Jong LH, van der Schaaf MF, Kremer WD, van der Vleuten CP. A scoping review on the notions of Assessment as Learning (AaL), Assessment for Learning (AfL), and Assessment of Learning (AoL). Studies in Educational Evaluation. 2021;71:101094. Doi: 10.1016/j.stueduc.2021.101094. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2021.101094

Harden RM, Laidlaw JM. Be FAIR to students: four principles that lead to more effective learning. Medical Teacher. 2013;35(1):27–31. Doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.732717. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2012.732717

Cook DA. Twelve tips for evaluating educational programs. Medical Teacher. 2010;32(4):296–301. Doi: 10.3109/01421590903480121. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/01421590903480121

Hadie SN, Yusoff MS, Arifin WN, Kasim F, Ismail ZI, Asari MA, Hassan A, Muda TF, Bakar YI, Zamin RM, Ramli ES. Anatomy Education Environment Measurement Inventory (AEEMI): a cross-validation study in Malaysian medical schools. BMC Medical Education. 2021;21(1):1–12. Doi: 10.1186/s12909-020-02467-w. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-020-02467-w

Vanka A, Hovaguimian A. Teaching strategies for the clinical environment. The Clinical Teacher. 2019;16(6):570–4. Doi: 10.1111/tct.12928. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/tct.12928

Hale AJ, Ricotta DN, Freed J, Smith CC, Huang GC. Adapting Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a framework for resident wellness. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 2019;31(1):109–18. Doi: 10.1080/10401334.2018.1456928. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10401334.2018.1456928

Bandura A, Ross D, Ross SA. Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. 1961;63(3):575–82. Doi: 10.1037/h0045925. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/h0045925

Vygotskiĭ L. Mind in society. 1st ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press; 1978.

How to Cite

Al-Jarshawi MHA, Al-Imam A. A Thousand Words About Modern Medical Education: A Mini-Review Concerning the Theory of Education. JMS [Internet]. 2022 May 23 [cited 2022 Aug. 11];91(2):e636. Available from: https://jms.ump.edu.pl/index.php/JMS/article/view/636



Thousand words about...
Received 2022-03-18
Accepted 2022-05-15
Published 2022-05-23