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Using student narratives to teach professionalism
Objective: This study aims to see if reflection on experiences during the OB/GYN clerkship, in the form of narrative writing and small group discussion, improves student understanding of professionalism.
Study Design: During the clerkship, students are assigned to complete two narratives on professionalism. Three one hour sessions are set aside to discuss narratives and students are encouraged to discuss similar issues from their own clinical experiences. Key categories of professional behavior are covered. At the end of the rotation an optional survey is completed.
Results: Three blocks of students (n=64) completed the series and 76% (n=49) elected to take the survey. Ninety four percent of the students felt that hearing their classmates’ opinions and experiences deepened their understanding of professionalism. Narrative writing was also felt to be useful by most students (87%), and 51% plan to continue the habit of narrative writing. Many (83%) felt comfortable defining professionalism and provided their definition on the survey. Forty six students (93%) feel they have a plan, and were able to share that plan, for how to become a positive role model when teaching future students.
Conclusions: Reflection on experiences in the clerkship in the form of narrative writing and small group discussion is acceptable and helpful to the students. A majority of students were able to define professionalism and have a plan for how to become positive role models in the future.
2014, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Professionalism, UME,