About Javier Benitez, MD

ALiEM Featured Contributor

Does assessment drive learning?

“The ability to secure meaning in the course of our experience is a basic human need… But meaning is not simply found; it is constructed.” – Elliot Eisner

A few days ago I participated in a Twitter chat led by a physician-educator from the United Kingdom. This Twitter chat (#ukmeded) is usually held on Thursdays at 9:00 pm UK time. This was a rich discussion on Twitter, and it also allowed me to participate in a discussion with people from other parts of the world. The most recent topic was on assessment (follow the link and learn more about the subtopics discussed).


By |2016-11-11T18:41:25-08:00Feb 2, 2013|Medical Education|

Website: Emergency Board Review

The emergency board in-training exam is a standardized exam that takes place every year in most if not all of the EM residency programs in the United States. It is administered on the last Wednesday in February. The exam is administered by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM). The knowledge assessed by this exam is what’s expected from residents in their third year of residency. According to ABEM there is a strong correlation between the in-training score and passing of the boards.


By |2018-01-30T02:01:52-08:00Jan 26, 2013|Medical Education, Social Media & Tech|

The Socratic Method

Diagnostic reasoning is one of the most complex, analytical, and intuitive processes to develop in the medical profession. Even seasoned physicians spend a lot of time fine tuning this skill. Although charged with teaching others, some excellent diagnosticians find it difficult to explain in detail how they arrived at a diagnosis or a differential diagnosis. Some might even find themselves in a position in which they have to assess someone else’s diagnostic reasoning. This task is even more daunting since we are not all taught much about this process, even less how to teach it to others. 


By |2017-01-20T12:29:39-08:00Jan 19, 2013|Medical Education|

Mentorship: Who benefits?

Mentorship is one of the professional relationships that fascinates me the most. We’ve all had those people in our lives that help us advance our careers, gain more insight to our practice, guide us to a more work/life balance. Some might call these people mentors, while other call them coaches or guides. Even after completion of training or schooling, people make use of these coaches/mentors as is the case in sports or medicine. For example Atul Gawande writes how a mentor helped him improve his practice as a surgeon years after completing his training.


By |2016-11-16T09:37:57-08:00Jan 12, 2013|Medical Education|

Andragogy: How adults learn best

Andragogy refers to learning strategies which help adults to learn more effectively.

It is a term that was first used by Alexander Kapp in 1833 and later expanded by Malcolm Knowles to fit the needs of adult education. The concept is contrasted with pedagogy in which the child is lead through the learning process by the teacher. In andragogy most of the learning is self-directed and the teacher is a facilitator in the learning process.  (more…)

By |2016-11-16T09:38:06-08:00Nov 29, 2012|Education Articles, Medical Education|

Seth Godin’s TED talk on "Stop Stealing Dreams"

Seth Godin, a marketing guru, discusses his opinion about “what school is for” in this above video. Although this talk or Seth Godin are not directly related to medical education, this is still related to education and can still be applied to today’s medical education curriculum in many aspects.

Mr. Godin goes on to explain that school was modeled in the industrial age and has changed little ever since. The video covers such concepts as:

  • Standardized exams in the industrial age were used as a tool to sort students. The person who created the standardized exams later on came to believe that the standardized exams were too crude, but due to his new conclusions he was excluded from his field.
  • Teachers in the industrial age believed that school was about teaching obedience and respect.
  • The industrial revolution created products en mass, but also needed people who were educated on consuming these products in order to survive. Therefore, schools were also created to educate people (or make replicas of people) about these products.


By |2018-10-28T21:48:27-07:00Nov 15, 2012|Medical Education|