Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Techniques and Transformation

These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts;  Zechariah 8:16 (NIV)
“Blessed are the peacemakers” or “Blessed are those who struggle for justice.” Greater precision in translation would say, “You’re in the right place if … you are single-hearted or work for peace.”
Boyle, Gregory (2010-02-14). Tattoos on the Heart (p. 75). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 
For healthcare education, the most difficult task has not been the cognitive or the procedural tasks; it has been the transformative educational task.  In a CNN report on medical certification exams getting the right answers apparently took precedence over doing the right thing.  

In his memoir, Tattoos on the Heart, by Father Greg Boyle we get some insight into the sociology of education of very difficult students.   What we see is a passion for the more difficult educational task of transformation.    He is not a teacher in an identified school.  His life, loves and actions are all predicated on a deep worth of his “students” that to him become “kin”.   He is one of them and at the same time a trusted mentor and critic who suffers and celebrates.
One tactical educational response has been the use of blogs as a tool for self-reflection in undergraduate medical education*.   There are concerns**but one obvious advantage is that these tools are not limited to a specific place***.   What we must keep in mind that with these new tools, we need faculty like the example of Father Boyle who was in the “right place” and committed to those he saw as “kin”.

*Chretien K.  Goldman E.  Faselis C.  The reflective writing class blog: using technology to promote reflection and professional development.  Journal of General Internal Medicine.  23(12):2066-70, 2008 Dec.
Gewin V. Social media: self-reflection, online.  Nature.  471(7340):667-9, 2011 Mar 31.
**Shore R.  Halsey J.  Shah K.  Crigger BJ.  Douglas SP.  AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA).  Report of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs: professionalism in the use of social media.  Journal of Clinical Ethics.  22(2):165-72, 2011.
***Ali FR.  Finlayson AE.  Tweet to collaborate with poorer nations.  Nature.  475(7357):455, 2011 Jul 28.

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