Collaborative Cheating

Students at New York’s Upstate Medical University are required to complete a course in medical literature for graduation. When it emerged that 154 members of the graduating class cheated by working together on online quizzes, the school required the offenders to complete additional work before graduation.

While the students did seem to violate the school’s code of ethics, their actions point to an important trend in medical education. Like elsewhere in health care, collaboration is increasingly vital for learning. It his how new discoveries are made and excellent health care is delivered. That so many students sought each other’s help in completing the quizzes suggest that the old model of each person completing his or her work individually needs to be reexamined.


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