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      Parting the Clouds : Three Professionalism Frameworks in Medical Education

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      Academic Medicine

      Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)

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          Abstract

          Current controversies in medical education associated with professionalism, including disagreements about curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment, are rooted in part in the differing frameworks that are used to address professionalism. Three dominant frameworks, which have evolved in the medical education community, are described. The oldest framework is virtue based and focuses on the inner habits of the heart, the development of moral character and reasoning, plus humanistic qualities of caring and compassion: The good physician is a person of character. The second framework is behavior based, which emphasizes milestones, competencies, and measurement of observable behaviors: The good physician is a person who consistently demonstrates competence in performing patient care tasks. The third framework is identity formation, with a focus on identity development and socialization into a community of practice: The good physician integrates into his or her identity a set of values and dispositions consonant with the physician community and aspires to a professional identity reflected in the very best physicians. Although each professionalism framework is useful and valid, the field of medical education is currently engaged in several different discourses resulting in misunderstanding and differing recommendations for strategies to facilitate professionalism. In this article, the assumptions and contributions of each framework are described to provide greater insight into the nature of professionalism. By examining each discourse in detail, underlying commonalities and differences can be highlighted to assist educators in more effectively creating professionalism curricula, pedagogy, and assessment.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Reframing medical education to support professional identity formation.

          Teaching medical professionalism is a fundamental component of medical education. The objective is to ensure that students understand the nature of professionalism and its obligations and internalize the value system of the medical profession. The recent emergence of interest in the medical literature on professional identity formation gives reason to reexamine this objective. The unstated aim of teaching professionalism has been to ensure the development of practitioners who possess a professional identity. The teaching of medical professionalism therefore represents a means to an end.The principles of identity formation that have been articulated in educational psychology and other fields have recently been used to examine the process through which physicians acquire their professional identities. Socialization-with its complex networks of social interaction, role models and mentors, experiential learning, and explicit and tacit knowledge acquisition-influences each learner, causing them to gradually "think, act, and feel like a physician."The authors propose that a principal goal of medical education be the development of a professional identity and that educational strategies be developed to support this new objective. The explicit teaching of professionalism and emphasis on professional behaviors will remain important. However, expanding knowledge of identity formation in medicine and of socialization in the medical environment should lend greater logic and clarity to the educational activities devoted to ensuring that the medical practitioners of the future will possess and demonstrate the qualities of the "good physician."
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            Disciplinary action by medical boards and prior behavior in medical school.

            Evidence supporting professionalism as a critical measure of competence in medical education is limited. In this case-control study, we investigated the association of disciplinary action against practicing physicians with prior unprofessional behavior in medical school. We also examined the specific types of behavior that are most predictive of disciplinary action against practicing physicians with unprofessional behavior in medical school. The study included 235 graduates of three medical schools who were disciplined by one of 40 state medical boards between 1990 and 2003 (case physicians). The 469 control physicians were matched with the case physicians according to medical school and graduation year. Predictor variables from medical school included the presence or absence of narratives describing unprofessional behavior, grades, standardized-test scores, and demographic characteristics. Narratives were assigned an overall rating for unprofessional behavior. Those that met the threshold for unprofessional behavior were further classified among eight types of behavior and assigned a severity rating (moderate to severe). Disciplinary action by a medical board was strongly associated with prior unprofessional behavior in medical school (odds ratio, 3.0; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.9 to 4.8), for a population attributable risk of disciplinary action of 26 percent. The types of unprofessional behavior most strongly linked with disciplinary action were severe irresponsibility (odds ratio, 8.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.8 to 40.1) and severely diminished capacity for self-improvement (odds ratio, 3.1; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 8.2). Disciplinary action by a medical board was also associated with low scores on the Medical College Admission Test and poor grades in the first two years of medical school (1 percent and 7 percent population attributable risk, respectively), but the association with these variables was less strong than that with unprofessional behavior. In this case-control study, disciplinary action among practicing physicians by medical boards was strongly associated with unprofessional behavior in medical school. Students with the strongest association were those who were described as irresponsible or as having diminished ability to improve their behavior. Professionalism should have a central role in medical academics and throughout one's medical career. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Curriculum development for the workplace using Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs): AMEE Guide No. 99.

              This Guide was written to support educators interested in building a competency-based workplace curriculum. It aims to provide an up-to-date overview of the literature on Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs), supplemented with suggestions for practical application to curriculum construction, assessment and educational technology. The Guide first introduces concepts and definitions related to EPAs and then guidance for their identification, elaboration and validation, while clarifying common misunderstandings about EPAs. A matrix-mapping approach of combining EPAs with competencies is discussed, and related to existing concepts such as competency milestones. A specific section is devoted to entrustment decision-making as an inextricable part of working with EPAs. In using EPAs, assessment in the workplace is translated to entrustment decision-making for designated levels of permitted autonomy, ranging from acting under full supervision to providing supervision to a junior learner. A final section is devoted to the use of technology, including mobile devices and electronic portfolios to support feedback to trainees about their progress and to support entrustment decision-making by programme directors or clinical teams.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Academic Medicine
                Academic Medicine
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                1040-2446
                2016
                December 2016
                : 91
                : 12
                : 1606-1611
                Article
                10.1097/ACM.0000000000001190
                27119331
                © 2016

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