The Value of Reflection in Clinical Teaching

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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Sacred and Profane: Balancing the sanctity of the human body with the mechanics of cadaver dissection

By Michael Dauzvardis

Often heard on the first day of anatomy lab:

“Oh— I’m so glad the cadaver doesn’t look real. It is gray and ashen.  The skin is wrinkled and the head is shaven. I can do this— I’ll make the first cut.”

In fall, in medical schools across the country, students begin their initial rite of passage on their journey to becoming a physician by undertaking the task of cadaver dissection.  It is the job of the anatomy faculty to assist the students in this profane act by teaching them how to use scalpels, long knives, saws, hammers, and chisels in the disassembly of the human body.  At the same time, it is also the job of the anatomy faculty, campus ministry, and other enlightened students to hit the “spiritual reset button” and remind all dissectors not to neglect the “human” in human dissection.  Most medical schools now have an opening (and closing) ceremony focusing on the sacredness of the human body and the unselfish gift and generosity of the donors…

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What is the Future of Ethics Education in Medical Schools?

By Micah Hester

In 2004, Lisa Lehman and colleagues noted that “Despite widespread agreement that ethics should be taught [in medical schools], there is little formal consensus concerning what, when, and how medical ethic is best taught” (2004, 682).  Eleven years later, the Project to Rebalance and Integrate Medical Education (PRIME) group in its Romanell Report (2015) followed like Lehman when saying, “Despite broad consensus on the importance of teaching medical ethics and professionalism, there is no consensus about the specific goals of medical ethics education for future physicians, the essential knowledge and skills learners should acquire, the best methodologies and processes for instruction, and the optimal strategies for assessment.”  In other words, we know that the content, form, place, and number of hours in the curriculum devoted to the ethics (and related concerns such as professionalism and values clarification) varies greatly.  There are roughly 170 medical schools (both allopathic and osteopathic) in the United States and Canada, and there are roughly 170 different ways that ethics is taught to medical students across the continent…
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Welcome to the Ralph P. Leischner, Jr., MD, Department of Medical Education

The department brings together Loyola Stritch’s efforts regarding “teaching to teach and learning to learn.” We are part of the new era in academic medicine that gives the same priority to our educational mission as our research and service missions. We aim to turn out a diverse physician workforce who treat patients according to the highest standards of care, are community leaders who promote social justice in health care and society, and who have the research, advocacy, and quality improvement skills to be effective change agents. It is the mark of a Stritch alumnus to reflect upon his or her ongoing personal and professional development as her vocation unfolds.  Such a physician is usually not formed by accident but benefits from a supportive community of mission-driven educators who constantly strive to improve their abilities to serve such medical students.  The department contributes to the building of this community…Read More »