Dr. Jordan Cohen, former president of the American Association of Medical Colleges, has defined professionalism as "the means by which individual doctors fulfill the medical profession's contract with society. The specific attributes that have long been understood to animate professionalism include altruism, respect, honesty, integrity, dutifulness, honor, excellence and accountability.”
The first week of medical school, Introduction to the Profession, will introduce students to the themes of professionalism and professional identity students will encounter throughout their medical education and their time as physicians. The goals for the week include:
- Introducing core topics of professionalism and professional identity.
- Describing the role of competencies in medical education.
- Introducing teaching and learning approaches in the new curriculum.
Throughout the week, students will learn about core issues in ethics, teamwork, communication, patient safety and quality, and personal awareness and self-care. In addition to learning content in these areas, students will experience many different teaching approaches - from interactive lectures to small group discussions to team-based learning to the opportunity to interview patients and health care professionals. During this week, students will also meet many of the key faculty who will be their teachers during years to come.
Prior to Introduction to the Profession, Arrival Week will orient the students to the practical aspects of Feinberg School of Medicine. In addition to a basic orientation to school structures, Arrival Week includes a one-day retreat for the first year medical students.
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Introduction to the Profession