GMT Learner-Centered Teaching

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The GMT clinic model provides a real, hands-on, supervised Medical experience.

This is a dynamic, interactive way of learning. Combined with intentional reflection on the experience, insights can be gained that can be transformed into action and further exploration. In our setting, this should fan the sparks of humanism that attract students into the medical profession in the first place.

Place this within the larger framework of the concrete trip experiences and a transformation into remarkable personal knowledge takes place. The pieces of this patchwork quilt will come together, they connect coherently, and we then see the larger patterns. This provides enlightened answers from which we can analytically extract the next better questions…on and on. Soon we must convert this into action to benefit others.

This is conceptually how the Medical Assessment process works in our clinics [using the SOAP format]...this is how one's life can best proceed AND progress.

Remember, your medical patient rarely provides 'wrong answers'...in fact, there may be no wrong answers, just the wrong questions. Keep asking though and you will hit upon the right ones. We will help and you will be amazed at how quickly you catch onto it. The medical neophyte is not expected to know many of the right questions initially. In addition, the medical jargon, and terminology can be daunting. These are frustrating, but try not to allow this to discourage or overwhelm you. By the 2nd clinic and beyond you will increasingly get the hang of it. I and the other professionals are there to guide you along. We know you are here to learn these things.

Also, remember that although you do much of the patient assessment process, that a clinic Doctor is ultimately and entirely responsible for the final diagnosis and treatment. NO PATIENT LEAVES OUR CLINIC WITHOUT A DOCTOR'S DECISION AND SIGNATURE. It is not ethical or reasonable to be otherwise.

Wil Johnson, MD

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One of the patient's that I will never forget were two little girls of the ages 5 and 6, who portrayed symptoms of malnutrition, which I later learned that it was due to the lack of parental/guardian supervision. Apart from their poor health conditions, they also lived in poor living conditions, where both of them had to sleep in the floor and one of them did not own a pair of shoes. After, diagnosing the patients and consulting with each member from my group, we thought that the best GMT can do is to provide both of them with sufficient vitamins, iron tablets, and parasite treatment for at least 2 months. Even then, we thought that giving the little girls these medications was very little in our dispense. This was one of the cases that definitely marked my perspective about the patient's healthcare in third world countries and how the poverty in Panama is incomparable to first world poverty.- Angela, Junior, Hunter College