The Art of Learning – Part 1

Seldom can the brain imagine what the body has never done.

We know medical training can sometimes seem overwhelming and complex, so at the College of Remote & Offshore Medicine we utilise several educational strategies to make learning efficient and effective for our students. This article is the first in a series regarding educational theories applied by CoROM staff on a daily basis.

Experiential learning describes the process of learning from reflection on an experience. This is particularly relevant to the simulation and elective based learning techniques advocated at the College of Remote & Offshore Medicine.

Educational psychologists (Rogers, 1969) delineate several requirements for significant experiential learning to take place.

  • Student-initiated learning

We know that all students have their own motivation for learning and that the best forms of learning cannot be forced. That’s why our faculty actively seek to ignite the spark for learning which resides in all medical professionals, fostering interest in knowledge acquisition by promoting clinical applications of all course material.


  • Subject matter aligned with personal interests

Remote clinic, offshore platform or expedition trail. Whatever setting our students leave behind or look forward to, curricula at CoROM promote subject matter applicable to a diverse range of clinical contexts. Our high instructor to student ratio allows CoROM students to benefit from individualised teaching and feedback to maintain a high degree of relevance to personal learning outcomes and perspectives.


  • External threat level : LOW

Our classroom based delivery techniques are designed to make students feel at ease and comfortable with learning. No finger pointing, singling out or the infamous pimping practices of medical education in times gone by!


  • Internal threat level: HIGH

Course material should make students challenge their own knowledge and experience, stimulating changes in their attitude and approach to healthcare.  Our team of clinical mentors continuously push students to adapt their practices and refine their delivery of care in tough, austere environments.


The College of Remote & Offshore Medicine believes strongly in reflective practice. Although something of a buzzword in recent educational circles, the ability to analyse one’s own behaviour is a fundamental part of being a healthcare provider. At CoROM, we encourage students to use reflective pratices to build on every concrete experience by rating their own performance (reflective observation) and considering how they might do things differently (abstract conceptualisation) before trying their skills out in class with active experimentation!

The College knows that quality learning cannot be rushed. Medical training takes time, which is invariably precious to healthcare professionals. However long you plan to spend on a period of training, why not maximise your yield with these techniques today? –



Rogers, C. (1969). Freedom to Learn. Columbus, OH: Merrill.
Andrew Grech