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AfflictedHow Vulnerability Can Heal Medical Education and Practice$
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Nicole M. Piemonte

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037396

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037396.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Exploring the Shortcomings of a “Scientific” Medical Education

Exploring the Shortcomings of a “Scientific” Medical Education

(p.1) 1 Exploring the Shortcomings of a “Scientific” Medical Education

Nicole M. Piemonte

The MIT Press

Chapter one begins with a synopsis of the scholarly literature that discusses the epistemology and pedagogy of medicine and the effects they have on physician formation before arguing that this perspective can be deepened and expanded by an understanding of Heidegger’s explication of “calculative thinking.” An understanding of this mode of thinking offers a more comprehensive grounding for the discussion about the inherent problems of medical education and practice. Privileging calculative thinking closes one off to other truths, those truths that are unverifiable, unquantifiable, or intangible. A Heideggerian critique helps to illustrate medicine’s tendency toward a calculative understanding of illness that is defined by a hurried curiosity, as opposed to a meditative thinking that is slower, open to wonder, embraces ambiguity, and considers the ineffable and unquantifiable to be just as “true” or valid as those things that might be scientifically “proven,” a point that will be more fully explored in later chapters. Recognizing the dominance and seductiveness of calculative thinking within medicine is important, as it speaks to the human tendency to turn away from the contingency, vulnerability, and death—a point that is clarified and expanded in chapter 2.

Keywords:   Medical epistemology, Medical pedagogy, Hidden curriculum, Heidegger, Calculative thinking, Meditative thinking, Physician formation, Medical education

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