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Play it Again: The Master Psychopharmacology Program as an Example of Interval Learning in Bite-Sized Portions

  • Stephen M. Stahl, Richard L. Davis, Dennis H. Kim, Nicole Gellings Lowe, Richard E. Carlson, Karen Fountain and Meghan M. Grady...
Extract

Medical education often presents new material as large data dumps at a single live event (lecture or symposium), in part because it is traditional, and also because this structure can be perceived as the most time efficient for busy clinicians and their teachers. However, modern learning theory and new insights from the neurobiological basis of long-term memory formation show that the format of single-event presentation of materials is not very effective. Rather, seeing the presentation of new materials over time, in bite-sized chunks, and then seeing them again at a later time, particularly as a test, leads to more retention of information than does learning the same amount of material as a large bolus in a single setting. This notion of learning over time, also called “interval learning” or “spaced learning,” is particularly well adapted to the Internet era. Here we describe an application of this concept to the learning of psychopharmacology over time in bite-sized and repeated portions structured as an “online fellowship” called the Master Psychopharmacology Program (www.neiglobal.com/mpptour).

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If you would like to comment on this column or submit a suggestion to Dr. Stahl for future columns, please e-mail dh@mblcommunications.com.
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CNS Spectrums
  • ISSN: 1092-8529
  • EISSN: 2165-6509
  • URL: /core/journals/cns-spectrums
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