February 15, 2018
What constitutes professionalism? A very important question for each of us—no matter what our role—but especially important as we engage with learners who model behavior, in part, based on what they see from us. We live in a curious age, with increased awareness of the importance of how actions influence others and of the privilege of our positions, but also an age of Twitter wars, well-known personalities falling from the ranks amid a chorus of #MeToo, and a member of our trusted profession in a courtroom, found guilty of horrific crimes against young athletes and patients.
How do we as good citizens, teachers, leaders, parents, and colleagues model professionalism for those around us and uphold the core values of McGovern Medical School?
In a team-based learning assignment, students were asked to imagine the attributes of a medical professional and then illustrate them in a larger-than-life drawing. The class, led by McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics faculty Rebecca Lunstroth and Dr. Anson Koshy, was advised to include items representing the attitudes, attributes, and actions of such a professional.
Rebecca explains that the course was born out of a desire to engage medical students in thinking about their professional obligations and identify as medical students and future physicians. The idea for the exercise came from a former student, Becca Ticker, who did a similar exercise preparing to be a camp counselor. Drawing a professional physician is now a meaningful part of our first-year curriculum.
Some of these drawings were on display on our McGovern Medical School Art Wall on the ground floor of our building. I hope you had the chance to see them.
If you didn’t, Dwight Andrews, our senior photographer in the Office of Communications, took photos, of the team drawings, with some examples below. I think you would agree, our students are both thoughtful and talented!
What are your top attributes for a professional? Let me know – I’d like to hear from you.
One value that all medical professionals hold sacred is privacy. I was recently reminded of the importance of privacy by one of our staff who overhead detailed information about an unnamed patient being discussed in an open area where others could hear the discussion. Our patients should and must have confidence that their information is private and that we would never discuss medical conditions and test results in the hallways or elevators where passersby might hear. Imagine that the bystander is your patient’s family member or friend.
P.S. Earlier in the month, students from all of our UTHealth schools participated in our first UTHealthCares health fair at our UT Physicians-Jensen clinic. Watch the video.