Teaching Medical Students How to Reconcile Law and Ethics in Practice: A Faculty Development Model
8 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 10, 2011
Throughout the course of their medical education, future physicians are frequently exposed to comments from their physician faculty mentors about the legal risks they are likely to encounter in their professional lives. These comments may engender legal apprehensions and anxieties among medical students and may be accompanied by advice from faculty that tends to encourage future clinical behavior that is inconsistent with the best humanistic care of patients. The frequently destructive relationship between physicians’ negative perceptions of their legal climate, on one hand, and the humanistic character of the patient care that ought to be provided by physicians, on the other, has been acknowledged for a long time. However, it appears that little - if any - attention has been devoted in the medical education arena to the tension between physicians’ perceptions about their risk management needs and the humanistic quality of the patient care they provide, let alone attention to the role that medical education may exert on the creation or exacerbation of that tension. This is a serious and unfortunate oversight; indeed, the ability to effectuate a positive, therapeutic alignment of legal risk management and humanistic patient care ought to be considered a core competency embedded throughout the medical education process. The goal of the project outlined briefly in this article is to create and disseminate experience and knowledge that will move medical education in that humanistic direction.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation