Matching Items (3)

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The Past, Present, and Future Role of the Humanities in American Medical Education

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There is growing concern among physicians, scholars, medical educators, and most importantly among patients, that science and technology have begun to eclipse fundamental attributes, such as empathy in the doctor-patient

There is growing concern among physicians, scholars, medical educators, and most importantly among patients, that science and technology have begun to eclipse fundamental attributes, such as empathy in the doctor-patient relationship. As a result, “humanism” in medicine has been a widely debated topic—how to define it, how to promote it, whether it can be taught, and how to qualify (much less quantify) its value in the practice of medicine. Through this research project I sought to better understand the role of humanities coursework in American medical school curricula, and determine whether there was a relationship between the integration of humanities coursework and the maintenance or enhancement of empathy levels in medical students. I reviewed literature with three objectives. (1) To better understand the influential social and political factors of pervasive reforms in US medical school curricula at the beginning of the 20th century, which led to science exclusive pedagogy in physician training (2) To become familiar with the works of iconic personalities in the history of American medical school pedagogy, paying special attention to attitudes and claims describing the role of humanities coursework, and the concept of humanism in the practice of medicine. (3) To observe the discourse underway across a variety of disciplines with regard to the current role of humanities coursework in medical curricula. My research shows that empathy is an essential attribute in the healing relationship, which benefits patients, physicians and improves health outcomes. Despite the importance of empathy, current physician training is documented as eroding empathy levels in medical students. Though the definition of ‘humanities’ in the context of medical school curricula remains vague and even contradictory, support for integration of humanities coursework is growing as an effective intervention for maintaining or enhancing levels of empathy.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The Past, Present, and Future Role of the Humanities in American Medical Education

Description

There is growing concern among physicians, scholars, medical educators, and most importantly among patients, that science and technology have begun to eclipse fundamental attributes, such as empathy in the doctor-patient

There is growing concern among physicians, scholars, medical educators, and most importantly among patients, that science and technology have begun to eclipse fundamental attributes, such as empathy in the doctor-patient relationship. As a result, “humanism” in medicine has been a widely debated topic—how to define it, how to promote it, whether it can be taught, and how to qualify (much less quantify) its value in the practice of medicine. Through this research project I sought to better understand the role of humanities coursework in American medical school curricula, and determine whether there was a relationship between the integration of humanities coursework and the maintenance or enhancement of empathy levels in medical students. I reviewed literature with three objectives. (1) To better understand the influential social and political factors of pervasive reforms in US medical school curricula at the beginning of the 20th century, which led to science exclusive pedagogy in physician training (2) To become familiar with the works of iconic personalities in the history of American medical school pedagogy, paying special attention to attitudes and claims describing the role of humanities coursework, and the concept of humanism in the practice of medicine. (3) To observe the discourse underway across a variety of disciplines with regard to the current role of humanities coursework in medical curricula. My research shows that empathy is an essential attribute in the healing relationship, which benefits patients, physicians and improves health outcomes. Despite the importance of empathy, current physician training is documented as eroding empathy levels in medical students. Though the definition of ‘humanities’ in the context of medical school curricula remains vague and even contradictory, support for integration of humanities coursework is growing as an effective intervention for maintaining or enhancing levels of empathy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Beyond Compliance: Cultivating Ethical Virtues in Scientific Research

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Principle-based ethical frameworks, which commonly make use of codes of ethics, have come to be the popular approach in guiding ethical behavior within scientific research. In this thesis project, I

Principle-based ethical frameworks, which commonly make use of codes of ethics, have come to be the popular approach in guiding ethical behavior within scientific research. In this thesis project, I investigate the benefits and shortcomings of this approach, ultimately to argue that codes of ethics are valuable as an exercise in developing a reconciled value profile for a given research community, and also function well as an internal and external proclamation of values and norms. However, this approach results in technical adherence, at best, and given the extent to which scientific research now irreversibly shapes our experience as human beings, I argue for the importance of cultivating ethical virtues in scientific research. In the interest of doing so I explore concepts from Aristotelian virtue ethics, to consider how to ameliorate the shortcomings of principle-based approaches. This project was inspired by a call to research and develop an ethical framework upon which to found a cooperative research network that would be aimed at combating the spread of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in resource-restricted countries, specifically throughout Latin America. The desire to found this network on an ethics-based framework is to move beyond technical compliance and cultivate a research community committed to integrity, therefore establishing and maintaining trust and communication that will allow for unprecedented productive collaboration and meaningful outcomes. I demonstrate in this thesis that this requires more than a code of ethics, and use this initiative as a case study to exhibit the merit of integrating concepts from virtue ethics.

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Date Created
  • 2017