The flipped-classroom model is making waves in medical school education. In the past two years, the medical schools of Stanford, Duke, UCSF, University of Washington and University of Michigan have been working together to develop a revolutionary flipped classroom course in immunology and microbiology. Rather than learning from textbooks and lectures, students are to study these topics outside of class through specially designed video case studies. In the classroom, students will practice clinical decision-making as a team, even during the first two years of medical school.
A flipped classroom is so called because it inverts the traditional classroom structure of in-class lectures and out-of-class problem solving. The model requires students to watch video lectures in preparation for class so that class time can be used for personal interactions with teachers and other students. While such an arrangement may seem feasible for non-surgical higher medical education, as in the cases of immunology and microbiology, we might ask if, why, and how the flipped-classroom model is appropriate for surgical education.