In the past 20 years, the health field has undergone major shifts and changes in its educational philosophy and methods. Health education programs have evolved from the traditional model of delivering medical advice and education through the lens of individual practitioners to an increasingly more interactive, collaborative, and participatory model. These changes have resulted in an expansion of health education programs, greater access to education, and increased emphasis on patient-centered education.
The increasing emphasis on patient-centered care, as well as the increased number of physicians trained in the field are some of the factors contributing to the shift towards greater emphasis on patient-centeredness. A major advantage that patient-centered care offers is the ability to bring the patient into the health care experience as an active participant, which allows for a more meaningful relationship between a patient and the health care professional.
This might be a good time to give you a history lesson on this, because we have one. The field of health education started in the mid-1800’s with a few medical schools in the US that were primarily concerned with training doctors. These schools have been around for over a century, but the focus seems to have shifted to education of patients, and with the increased use of computer technology the field has become more patient-centric.
As a patient, you probably already know this. However, it is still worth a little explanation. The first health care professional to whom you would turn for care was John Snow, a Scottish physician who came across the infamous black death epidemic in London. As he was conducting his own investigation on the disease, he inadvertently found a young girl who was living with a family suffering from the same disease. She was then diagnosed and treated by Snow.
Snow was an early pioneer in the field of health care, and his study of the disease was a pivotal moment in the history of health care. The early years of the profession also resulted in the birth of home-based medicine with the emergence of the first home care nurse, the first internist (who was also a home care nurse), and the first doctor as well.
I think the next step would be for doctors and nurses to start sharing some of their skills rather than just working together. The early years of medical schools were dominated by the idea that it was the doctor who was the expert on the subject. It was a time when medical science was still very much a man’s game.
Today we have three very different types of doctors. There are those who are simply specialists in a particular field. They have a lot of training and experience and are in charge of a lot of the research. There are other doctors who aren’t specialists, but they are usually more junior and inexperienced. Then there are those doctors who are generalists, who specialize in many different areas.
It’s a subject that has been around for a long time, but that was only in the past few decades. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, medical schools began to create specialized programs that taught medical students the basics of the basics of medicine. The idea was that by doing so, they would allow them to specialize in more specialized areas. That is, they would get a better education and experience as medical doctors.
The past few decades have been a time of dramatic change, and perhaps there’s something to it. The change has come in the last couple of decades. Many of these medical schools have started to look to the future, as if they were on the verge of opening up to a possible future. What’s new is that the current medical school setting has been more modern and more sophisticated than in the past.
The evolution of health education has been incredibly rapid.