A risk factor for lapses of professionalism

The Indiana University School of Medicine Newsroom circulated an interesting report on research concerning professionalism. The study “is one of the first to provide quantitative evidence to support anecdotal claims linking reflective ability of medical students and professional behaviors of future physicians.”

The term “reflective ability” is new to me, but a simple example made it clear.

“Medical students know right from wrong but don’t always reflect on the short- and long-term consequences of their actions,” Dr. Frankel [senior author of the study] said. “For example, cutting and pasting sources from the Internet without attribution, which some students believe is permissible, is actually a form of plagiarism as is cutting and pasting patients’ electronic medical records. Not seeing or reflecting upon the connection between these two types of behaviors can pose a risk for serious lapses in professionalism. By enhancing students’ training in reflective practice we can boost their awareness and vigilance regarding professionalism.”

I can’t help wondering whether other practitioners in other professions are at a similar risk, and whether mentioned training in reflective practice would help them.

Anonymous. 2016. “Low reflective ability is risk for professionalism lapses during medical school and beyond.” IUSM Newsroom (Jan 21).

Ken Pimple
January 22, 2016
5:10 pm EDT

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Ken Pimple

About Ken Pimple

I've been involved in the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics before its actual creation. I am coordinating the international conversation on the future of practical and professional ethics for APPE, and organizing five workshops that will be held at Indiana University in Bloomington in academic year 2014-15.

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