A couple of years back I read an interesting book called Rejuvenile. It concerns the emerging culture of adults who like to do kid things – Lego’s, paintball, etc. After reading The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices this summer I learned that the MIT Media Lab has a group, Lifelong Kindergarten, that tries to recreate the thinking and curiosity of kindergarten-aged children. I’m by no means the first to suggest there’s something to be said for thinking like a kid but I may be alone in thinking that medicine might benefit a more youthful perspective.
In medicine we like to bring ’em in a little older, cautious, and willing to march in time through our century old system. The qualities that define a child’s curious perspective won’t get you too far in the modern medical curriculum. American medical schools still offer an industrial-age style of education – a one-way, multiple choice process of drill and kill that operates under the belief that students can still memorize what they need to know about medicine.
Of course everyone knows that medical education is in need of reform. But as we get there, perhaps we should consider seeing medical education and our approach to medical innovation from a more innocent perspective. Perhaps medical schools should adopt some of the thinking going on at the MIT Media Lab.
Perhaps we need more rejuvenilia in medicine.
Rejuvenile is an interesting read if you have the time. (Links to Rejuveniles are Amazon affiliate links.)