An Overview of Medical Education and Training

With a growing population and the worldwide need for curers and administrators needed to run medical facilities, the need for medical professionals all over the world is greater than ever. Today the medical and healthcare profession has become one of the world’s largest industries with a vast variety of specializations and supporting fields, involving everything from administrative and clerical work to medical research, development and technology. Indeed in the new millennia, healthcare has become a priority area for governments and corporations all over the world to invest in.


Medical education is the internationally acceptable foundation of learning the healing arts and about modern procedures and medicine used today. Every country in the world has its own, internationally acceptable format for the teaching and training of medicine and healthcare students and each has its own – closely similar – methodology to train and qualify (and license) practitioners entering into this field. All over the world, there are many great traditional medical training institutions with a philosophy focused on the comprehensive development of the future generations of experts and industry leaders in this field, and prospective medical students have a variety of choices when looking for the right institution to join, and the right Doctors to learn from.

Entry into the medical field

All over the world, different curricula are followed and entrance into medical schools for training requires prospective students to fulfill certain criteria.

– Undergraduate entry (European and Asian countries)

Undergraduate entry usually requires students to have completed at least a high school (or A levels in the UK) certificate and sometimes a year of preparatory study before entrance into dedicated medical education.

– Second entry (first professional degree – USA and Canada)

A second entry degree is one for which a student is required to have completed between 2-3 years of study (graduate level) as a pre-requisite for entrance into medical education. This degree is considered as a ‘first professional degree’ (like a PhD or MS degree) after the first degree is completed in a sciences related discipline.

– Graduate entry – Graduate entry program (GEP or GMP)

These are medical programs, occurring outside of the US and Canada, where entry is offered to college or university graduates who have already completed a degree and have taken an aptitude test (MCAT etc).

Post Graduate Education

Newly trained doctors are required to complete a certain period of practical training, usually with a hospital or clinic. Before doctors can become registered as licensed practitioners anywhere in the world, they are required to complete this supervised ‘hands-on’ training period (called a residency or internship – aka ‘scrubs’ program) which usually takes a year.

– Continued medical education (CME)

Continued medical education is a necessity in many parts of the world for doctors to maintain their practice licenses. This education is undertaken periodically by physicians and other practitioners (like medical technicians and nursing professionals) in order to maintain an up-to-date knowledge on current advances, modern practices and the latest medical technology (some examples are; IV Certification)

– Core medical education and technical medical training

Core medical training, provided at traditional medical institutions, is divided into two separate forms. These are called;

– Preclinical

These constitute of the basic sciences having to do with the human body and its functions and a deeply detailed study of pharmacology, physiology, pathology, anatomy, biochemistry etc.

– Clinical sciences

These involve a study of procedural sciences and clinical medicine and constitutes of studies in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and finally, surgery.

Other than these core areas of training and education, there are opportunities in the medical industry as medical technicians. This alternative medical line includes the following major work areas;

Central Service Technician and Surgical Technician: An expert on sterilization procedures for surgery theaters and medical surgery instruments. The work includes assisting in surgery, sterilization and proper handling of equipment.

Clinical Lab Assistant and Phlebotomy technician: This technician collects blood, saliva and urine samples and processes them for testing and actually performs these tests as well.

Dialysis Technician: trained to perform dialysis procedures.

Medical Assisting professionals: Perform administrative duties in running healthcare facilities and perform tasks related to basic patient care (prospective students require only a high school diploma in the US).

Medical Technology: Lab-work including running tests for diagnosis etc. this field requires a 4 year degree and certification from the relevant national association.

Sports Medicine professional: This area is relevant to orthopedics, biomechanics, physical and massage therapy and nutrition. In order to practice in this area, a full degree and license is required.




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Beat Your Neck Pain – Discover the Miracle of Somatic Movement Education

How nasty is a ‘cricked neck’? Maybe you’ve slept in an odd position, or maybe you’ve reached for something and felt a shooting pain that develops into a horrible spasm that lasts for days or longer, limiting your movements and making you feel just dreadful. Several packets of painkillers later and a few visits to the chiropractor and you might just get some short-term relief, but wouldn’t you like to find out why it happens and discover a way to get to the root of the problem so it never happens again? Of course you would, and here’s how…

The causes of neck pain can be present long before the actual pain sets in, so identifying these causes and nipping them in the bud is the key to never having to suffer again.

Of course trauma to the area is a common cause, and serious disc and vertebra damage must be ruled out first, but generally the causes are more subtle and everyday in origin. General wear and tear, or spondylosis, can cause intermittent problems, as can many forms of muscle imbalances caused by sedentary lifestyles.

Just like thoracic problems, the fear response (very common and usually subconscious) where the shoulders lift and the neck protrudes forwards can also set off the pain cycle. Neck problems can also be associated with referred pain or numbness in the arms, such as in thoracic outlet syndrome where the brachial plexus nerves are compressed by tight scalene muscles.

Other problems can be triggered by tightness in the trapezius, upper pectoral or sub occipital muscles, or even a subluxed first rib. All of the above can contribute unwelcome muscle tension that pulls the vertebrae out of alignment, thus causing pain and/or numbness.

Whatever the root cause of the problem, Somatic Movement Education offers a simple, gentle system of exercises to unwind the holding patterns in these muscles that result in neck pain. To truly treat neck pain, we must look deeper into the body than just the localised area of pain, and this is where Somatic Movement Education comes into its own.

The techniques for rebalancing neck pain would begin in the Somatic centre of the body, which is between the rib cage and pelvis, and all the muscles, front back and sides, such as the rectus abdominis, need to be gently unwound. This would lead up to specific techniques for the area of pain, where attention would be given to the muscles of the neck and upper back and chest, including the sternocleidomastoid, scalene and trapezius.

If all this seems a bit technical, don’t worry! Basically it’s just to show that although the causes of neck pain can be very varied, and there is a complicated set of muscles, joints and nerves that can make up the problem, the solution is simple, easy and enjoyable with Somatic Movement Education, which gives you a set of solutions that you can use at home whenever you need them, and save loads of time and money on short-term cures and pill-popping.

Of course, as I stress in all my articles on rebalancing the body with SME, you must hydrate the body too! So many imbalances are caused by dehydration, and if we drink two or three litres of clean, pure water every day, not only will we address the dehydration itself, but enable the Somatic Movement exercises to help draw that moisture into the cartilage and discs, greatly aiding repair.