Sooner or later, someone is going to create an online medical school for training medical doctors. Such programs would likely be open to all age groups, providing Dangerous Children with an “advanced placement” training in the secrets of human medicine.
It is already possible to use YouTube playlists creatively, to approximate most of the non-clinical (and some of the clinical) training that medical students receive in very expensive institutions. Here are a few of the sites that provide fair to moderate quality medical training lectures and videos:
Dr. Prodigious: Multiple video playlists providing gross anatomy, immunology, microbiology, histopathology, basic surgical skills, and a number of other basic science and clinical medicine topics — of variable quality.
Acland Anatomy The best online introduction to gross anatomy available. Hurry and watch them before “they” take them offline.
WashingtonDeceit: Clinical pathology presented by a pathologist, following the Robbins pathology sequence. You can follow along in the Robbins text using Google Books.
Shotgun Histology: Histology is the microscopic anatomy of tissues. This series is given by the same pathologist who produced the WashingtonDeceit pathology videos.
Clinical Anatomy Explained: This site provides some good introduction to a number of neuroanatomy, embryology, and gross anatomy topics, using a very useful technique of teaching the student to draw the anatomy.
Help4PA: The meat of this playlist is the multiple lengthy lectures providing internal medicine board review in multiple clinical areas. Useful short lectures in emergency medicine are also provided. Sorry, removed by YouTube
Eric Strong Lectures: High quality lectures on several topics that can be difficult for medical students, including acid-base balance, pulmonary physiology, heart sounds, EKG and more — including an interesting section on physics topics that apply to medicine.
Immunology Mini-Course: AIDS specialist Harris Goldstein of Albert Einstein S. of Med. went to S. Africa and gave a 14 lecture minicourse on immunology, provided here. Goes from the simple to the complex.
Paul Bolin: Clinical and basic science lectures presented as USMLE reviews.
Kaplan Biostats and Epidemiology: A useful multi-lecture introduction to biostatistics and epidemiology — crucial to understanding medical research and the dynamics of diseases in populations.
Medical Guide Videos Wide range of basic science videos with some clinical sciences.
Virology 2013 Complete virology course from Columbia U.
These are not necessarily the very best available online materials for medical training, but they are accessible, affordable (free), and you can watch them or turn them off anytime you wish. It is best to take notes, and to supplement the lectures with reading. Many excellent source books are available free online, and on Google Books (using the search mode). Free Books 4 Doctors is one site specialising in providing medical texts at no charge.
Direct clinical training in human medicine is harder to come by, although many students can gain an impressive depth of clinical intuition via video exams and case studies, while practising more benign techniques on themselves and their friends. As the phenomenon of online medical training grows, expect individuals to hire themselves out for medical exams — similar to an artist’s or photographer’s model for hire. The more interesting the condition, the more the person could charge.
Clinical simulators are becoming much more realistic, and should become semi-affordable for co-ops with the economy of scale that should come from online medical training.
It is easy to get burned out on the details of many medical areas. Focus on areas that interest you, and pace yourself.
The Dangerous Child approach to lifelong learning asserts that everyone should be a generalist — even specialists! Adults can profit from a general understanding of human medicine, among other practical knowledge and skills.
For Dangerous Child training of younger children, those who choose the medical track as one of their electives will be able to pass the USMLE part I (basic sciences) no later than age 18.
Do not practise medicine without a license.