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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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The Formation of Medical “Professionals”

The Formation of Medical “Professionals”

(p.97) 4 The Formation of Medical “Professionals”

Nicole M. Piemonte

The MIT Press

Chapter four explores how educators might help cultivate the capacity for authentic patient care among doctors-in-training, including a comportment of humility, openness, and gratitude for patients. The argument is made that the curative ethos of medicine and its preoccupation with calculative thinking will persist until educators can cultivate within clinicians and clinicians-in-training the capacity to face their vulnerability and the reality of existential anxiety. It is through a pedagogy that values and fosters vulnerability and reflexivity that this capacity can be cultivated. Although recent trends in the professionalism movement, including that of “professional identity formation,” have made progress toward these ends, these movements actually may serve to reinforce calculative thinking, due to their focus on outcomes and assessment. This chapter looks critically at such trends in medical education and contends that ideas concerning professionalism can be enriched and expanded through an understanding of virtue ethics and the Aristotelian concept of phronesis, which emphasize personal development, experiential and habitual learning, and quality mentorship.

Keywords:   Medical professionalism, Professional identity formation, Virtue Ethics, Phronesis, Aristotle, Mentoring, Pedagogy, Competencies, Assessment, Medical hermeneutics

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