Tutoring for USMLE: Why I became a Med School Tutor

  • /Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD
  • SCoates1

    “See one, do one, teach one.”

    This is the mantra of medical education. The apprenticeship model of learning that forms the backbone of our institutionalized learning scheme can be traced back hundreds of years. The principles of on-the-job training are quite simple. Humans are experiential learners, which means that solving high volumes of problems in a hands-on manner is the best way in which to turn yourself into an expert in a given subject matter.

    While few would argue for passive learning (i.e. reading Harrison’s internal medicine online, chapter-by-chapter… argh!), my experiences as a medical student have taught me how hard it can be to actually slow down and pursue the modes of learning that are proven to be most effective. Perhaps this is because we feel chronically sleep-deprived and overworked. It’s tough to find time to review notes the same day they were taken, or to make flashcards from core concepts with which you struggle, much less teach the material to a partner  that, after all, requires two people to overcome their medical student funk.