Can you teach medical professionalism?

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That's the question posed in this editorial from Academic Medicine October 2005; 80 (10). (Thanks to Anne Taylor-Vaisey for the pointer!)


Here's an excerpt from the editorial by Michael E. Whitcomb:


    During the past decade, members of the medical education community have devoted a great deal of time and effort trying to ensure that medical professionalism is being inculcated into medical students and residents. Indeed, an entire body of literature devoted to the topic has been created during that period, and many professional organizations, including the AAMC, have organized special conferences about professionalism or addressed that topic at their annual meetings. It is fair to say that the various aspects of medical professionalism, and how to teach and assess it, have been discussed repeatedly within the medical education community. So, where do things stand?


    ...We all have an important stake in seeing that this kind of learning occurs. It is time to stop focusing on the rule-based professionalism that dominates our current teaching. Instead, we must acknowledge the narrative basis of medicine and develop educational experiences that will allow students and residents to learn what it truly means to be a physician.



Link to the issue's table of contents.

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