Spicing up medical education
Six cornerstones in teaching medical students today
- By: Henry P O’Connell
The acronym SPICES refers to six main concepts in medical education—student centred teaching, problem based learning, an integrated curriculum, community based teaching, electives with a core, and the use of systematic methods (table). An awareness of these principles means that medical students can take a more active role in their learning. Students who are well informed about medical education principles, such as the SPICES criteria, are more likely to be able to provide constructive feedback about their own medical education experience, contributing in the long term to course improvements.
Different aspects of the SPICES model are adopted to a greater or lesser degree by medical schools. It has been suggested that each medical school should be scored according to how much of the SPICES model they use in their curriculum.1 However, there is a dearth of evidence on how different medical schools perform with regard to the SPICES criteria and