About Javier Benitez, MD

ALiEM Featured Contributor

Critical Thinking: Minimizing NOT knowing what you do not know

3D Character and Question MarkSocratic questioning, a dialectic approach to acquiring knowledge, has been around for ages. If done appropriately, it’s a rigorous method of learning. Questioning reveals our knowledge base, reasoning, and want for clarification; invites a dialogue; and establishes a relationship with others. Socratic questioning can also aid in the development of critical thinking.


By |2017-01-20T12:31:20-08:00Jun 1, 2014|Medical Education|

Clinician Educator: The agent for change in medical education

Socrates_and_PlatoSome people consider teaching and learning much more difficult than rocket science. 1 Teaching and learning is such a complex process that researchers are still having debates in different areas including: how it works, how to assess it, and how to research it. For the most part it is safe to presume that different people have different learning philosophies and this is, most likely, how they teach. 2 Because we are a product of our past and form strong habits, these might inadvertently impede the search of more effective and efficient educational activities. Research in education, just like research medical practice, may challenge our most held beliefs and bring to light better educational practices.


By |2016-11-11T19:20:56-08:00May 11, 2014|Education Articles, Medical Education|

Self-Regulated Learning and Forgetting

Young man with a book We go through school without realizing if our learning strategies are inefficient even more so when some assessments support these practices as opposed to discourage it. Unfortunately, exams and graduation run the risk of giving us a sense that learning is over, that what we have learned does not change, or that there are not more effective ways of learning. There is no way of unlearning what we have learned in the past, so it’s always a sensible practice to reassess our knowledge on a constant basis.  (more…)

By |2018-01-30T02:47:20-08:00Apr 19, 2014|Medical Education|

Does The Medium Change The Culture?


According to Paul Levinson, a Marshall McLuhan scholar, “The medium is the message” in the digital age means that the way we use the medium to consume and produce information is much more important than the content itself. This phrase originated from a book authored by Marshall McLuhan in 1964 called Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McLuhan talked about the electronic age as a catalyst for creating a global village. These were some of McLuhan’s viewpoints even before the Internet had been invented. If the ultimate purpose of publishing is to communicate with each other, we should explore how we are carrying on this endeavor, its effects on our thinking process and practices via current medium.


By |2016-11-11T19:19:36-08:00Feb 27, 2014|Medical Education|

Expertise in Clinical Decision Making

DecisionWe make decisions every day, all day long. Sometimes we are aware of it and sometimes we are not. Our decision process is affected by many factors. Some are under our conscious control while others are not. In order to sharpen our decision process, we gain knowledge, practice, and then reflect. We are selective and gain knowledge from different sources, practice in the appropriate setting, and reflect alone or with others for feedback. It is important to explore all possible clinical reasoning pathways as we don’t know which process will get us in the right path. 


By |2018-10-28T21:57:54-07:00Feb 21, 2014|Medical Education|

Where is the pedagogy in flipped classrooms?

FlippedClassroomAs you are aware there has been lots of discussion going on about the concept of flipping the  classroom in education these days. ALiEM recently hosted a book club where Salman Khan’s book (The One World School House: Education Reimagined) was featured in a Google Hangout. Khan, an ex-hedge fund manager, started making videos to help his niece with her math homework years ago. These videos ended up on YouTube and became quite popular. It wasn’t until later with the help of Bill Gates that he formed The Khan Academy and popularized the concept of the flipped classroom.


By |2017-03-05T14:12:03-08:00Feb 7, 2014|Medical Education|
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