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Four trends in healthcare education

Healthcare education has come a long way since the dawn of the 21st century. We've seen a number of new technologies and strategies move to the forefront, while antiquated practices have been pushed aside. Understanding where the healthcare education system is headed in 2016 and beyond is helpful for patients, parents, and the employers who will be hiring fresh talent in the coming years.
Trends to keep an eye on

The healthcare system is dynamic, which means the educational system must constantly evolve in order to stay relevant. With that being said, there are currently a few stable trends worth highlighting.

1. Demand for specialisation

There’s a huge demand for specialisation in the medical field right now. As a result, the educational system is shifting to allow for more specialisation options through the use of customisable curriculums and niche courses.

If you take a look at top schools from around the country – such as Rush University – you’ll see that academic programmes look a lot different than they did just a few years ago. Students are now being prepared for more than just hands-on medical care. They’re also being taught to become practitioners, managers, and researchers. It’s a shift that’s creating a much more balanced system overall.

2. Rise in online learning

Online learning is becoming increasingly popular in just about every degree specialty. However, healthcare is experiencing a “boom”, so to speak.

“Given the promising job outlook for nursing professionals, it’s not surprising that online programmes for nursing degrees have grown significantly over the past few years,” says Jonathan Beachy, an expert in online education. “Colleges have been moving their nursing programmes online for almost as long as online education has existed. But they are doing so now at a faster rate.”

Specifically, Beachy notes that the total number of “fully” online nursing programmes in the US has grown by more than a third over the last couple of years. While most of these programmes also blend online learning with real-world experience, things like interactive seminars and video technology are making online learning much more practical.

3. More hands-on learning

As online learning grows in popularity, so does the demand for hands-on learning opportunities. Thankfully, these are not two mutually exclusive ideas. Traditionally, the first two years of medical school have been dedicated to classroom learning. However, it’s clear that people learn better when they’re actually immersed in environments where they can use their knowledge.

This is why many medical schools – including Vanderbilt University – are using students to conduct interviews with patients, help with patient discharge, and conduct follow-up house calls. Small things like these go a long way towards preparing students.

4. Emphasis on social issues

Today’s generation of students is very interested in making a difference. In addition to launching careers in healthcare, they also want to help underserved populations and high-need communities. Medical schools and health science colleges recognise this and are doing their part in educating students about the dangers of social and economic inequality as it relates to public health.

The future of modern healthcare education

Healthcare is changing, which ultimately means the educational system that empowers tomorrow’s leaders is also evolving. As you can see, the general shift is towards specialised learning that’s both convenient and hands-on for students.

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the educational system and how it does or doesn’t properly prepare students for the real world, it’s hard to argue against the healthcare sector of the system.

Great strides have been made over the past decade and a half – and it appears the best is yet to come!

8 Aug 2016 21:13


About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as,,, Boris is the founder of and