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Document Typology: Research
Methodology addressed by the publication:Narrative medicine
Title of document: Becoming a doctor: fostergin humane caregivers through creative writing
Name of author(s): Hatem, Ferrara
Name of publisher: Patient education and counseling
Language of the publication: English
Language of the review: English
We qualitatively examined themes covered in a creative writing elective designed to enhance pre-clinical medical students' writing, observation, and reflection skills relative to experiences in their medical education. Qualitative analysis of writings' themes was carried out via iterative consensus building process and validated through member checks and literature review. Fourteen students completed the elective, seven for each year it was given. Students submitted 86 written pieces. Qualitative analysis demonstrated the presence of nine themes: students' role confusion, developing a professional identity, medicine as a calling, physician privilege and power, humanizing the teacher, the limits of medicine, death and dying, anticipating future challenges, and identification with the patient. Students evaluated this creative writing course favorably, indicating value in writing and reflection. Themes covered are of concern to second-year medical students as well as other trainees and practicing physicians. Writing may aid in the professional development of physicians.
Reviewer's comments on the document:
While long-term outcomes of this elective have not been demonstrated, there are several implication of the results. Having students struggle with, articulate, and clarify their professional dilemmas is a first step in working through them. Holding such a course, one which attemps to model the skills in the teacher-learner dyad - listening actively, giving respectful feedback, observing, and speaking with clarity - that we are trying to create in the physician - patient relationship can serve as a model for fostering the development of value in professional education. The nature of the topics discussed are clearly issues important to physicians and physician-in-training, as evidenced by the themes placed in the context of other medical literature.
Where to find it: No pfd

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