By Patricia Stubenberg
“No words are ofterner on our lips than thinking and thought.” – John Dewey
The teaching physician has opportunities for personal and professional growth through reflection and revisiting not only their own experiences in training and practice, but also their role as clinical teachers with medical students and residents. Studies on reflection in teaching are abundant including, Freese’s work on Reframing One’s Teaching1, Dewey’s Art of Reflection2, and the theoretical underpinnings of reflective engagement, metacognition, and transformative learning. The literature on reflection in clinical teaching is expanding through scholars including, Irby et al.3 and Sanders4. This essay offers perspective on the value of reflective activity to advance medical education in training the next generation of physicians…
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By Wessam Ibrahim
Learning Anatomy is a journey. All medical students have some memories about their anatomy courses; some have good memories and some don’t.
It’s October 1995. I was a first-year medical student at my medical school in Egypt. I had never seen a corpse except in horror movies. I was so scared and I really thought that those bodies weren’t real. The instructor started “Well, who would like to start dissection?” I whispered to myself this guy must be crazy. He continued: “You guys have to do it”. OMG, I guess I will have to cut that dead body. Surprisingly I volunteered.
Years were going so fast. I graduated from medical school and decided to have anatomy as my career. How did I do that? Again, I don’t know; but I know that I am so passionate about teaching medical students and my utmost joy is to see them succeed in medicine…
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By Hedy Wald
Reb Zusha* used to say: “When I die and come before the heavenly court, if they ask me, ‘Zusha, why were you not Abraham?’ I’ll say that I didn’t have Abraham’s intellectual abilities. If they say, ‘Why were you not Moses?’ I’ll say I didn’t have Moses’ leadership abilities. For every such question, I’ll have an answer. But if they say, ‘Zusha, why were you not Zusha?’ for that, I’ll have no answer.”
*Rabbi Meshulam Zusha of Hanipol (Anipoli), pious great Hassidic Rabbi (1718-1800)
What is our answer when faced with the challenge of helping our “Zushas,” our learners and educators, be all the “Zushas” they can be?
Developing a “reflective culture” within medical schools and teaching hospitals can encourage and guide learners, educators, and practitioners to recognize and take steps toward realizing untapped potential in self and in health care teams. Within a longitudinal, developmental reflective process starting in year one of medical school, extending into residency and beyond,1 reflection-fostered awareness of self, other, and situation facilitates purposeful, self-directed learning, more effective use of feedback, and development of new habits of mind, heart, and practice.2 Meaning is created from experience and newly illuminated capabilities may be actualized…
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