‘A trend or a Need’ Threshold Concepts in Medicine and Surgery; A Qualitative Synthesis

Information overload, due the enthusiasm of curriculum developers for covering everything, is a grave problem today. In the context of medicine, information load is integral to the discipline because a doctor needs to be knowledgeable in order to identify and treat diseases. It raise a concern about how can students remember and apply this much information when they start their clinical placements? It poses compelling pressures on medical educators to devise ways to manage cognitive load without compromising the knowledge that is transferable to clinical setting which, otherwise, may limit students’ time on task to learn threshold concepts and promote rote learning. In this context threshold concept theory seems promising. This review is designed to explore TCs and potential usefulness in medicine and surgery. This qualitative synthesis of literature revealed that there are threshold concepts of knowing and practicing which every student must navigate and master during their training. Though there is growing body of evidence regarding need of adoption of threshold concept framework (TCF) in higher education, further research in needed in the field of medicine and surgery for operationalization of TCF.

Article Type:
Review Article
Journal of Medical Education, Volume:18 Issue:3, 2020
176 - 195
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