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05/21/2013

A Medical Student and YOU: The "Hidden Curriculum"

Another in a series of threads regarding the ethical/professional issues that could involve a medical student and you or a family member as a patient. This thread is based on the book Professionalism in Medicine : A Case-Based Guide for Medical Students. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press; 2010 and  from the website “Professionalism in Medicine” prepared by Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. This thread begins with a video dramatization of a vignette which is followed by a faculty member perspective commentary.First go to the following link, read, view and then return and present the visitors to this thread your own view of the particular professional issue from the perspective of the patient:Commitment to Professional Competence

A STARTING COMMENT FROM ME:

Being competent as a physician requires proper education and experience. Much of the basic education in diagnosis and the treatment of the patient’s disease actually occurs during the first two years of medical school. It is there where the theory and also the scientific basis for accomplishing these responsibiities are presented. What happens as part of the student, intern or resident’s professional development after these two years is a learning activity which can be distorted by various suspected or realistic practicalities and clinical habits of those performing the instruction. This later teaching regarding the profession of medicine has been called the “hidden curriculum”. Often this “hidden curriculum” while perhaps assumed to facilitate certain clinical actions and certain doctor-patient relationships may, in fact, pose unnecessary patient cost and unnecessary patient harm and may even go against medical professional code of ethics. Though it is doubtful that the “hidden curriculum” in medical education and behavior will ever be eliminated, however knowing about this phenomenon should provide patients with a reason to retain a touch of attention and indeed a bit of skepticism with regard to the behavior and decisions of their physicians. ..Maurice.

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