e d u c a t i o n
Symposium examines modern professionalism in medicine
Dr. Abraham Fuks, former dean of
medicine at McGill University
The Inaugural Dr. Leslie A. Wells Lecture in Medical Professionalism was delivered during a special symposium on professionalism in medicine, hosted by the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial and held at the Fluvarium in St. John's in October.
The Inaugural Dr. Leslie A. Wells
Lecture in Medical Professionalism was delivered during a special
symposium on professionalism in medicine, hosted by the Faculty of
Medicine at Memorial and held at the Fluvarium in St. John's in
October. Dr. Abraham Fuks, former dean of medicine at McGill
University, spoke on the New Professionalism and the Old
Dr. Leslie Wells and family members
Dr. Mary Wells, Robert Wells and Andrew Wells, attended the
symposium. Dr. Fuks began his talk with a tribute to Dr. Leslie
Wells and his long career as a surgeon in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Time, sympathy and understanding must be lavishly spent as part of
a physician's professional obligations,” said Dr. Fuks. “Medical
professionalism is the basis for our social contract and
acknowledges the primacy of patient welfare.”
Dr. Fuks said Canadian medical
professionalism faces a challenge. “Everyone is going faster and
faster, but we need to stop and listen to our patients. Physician
empathy is an important component of clinical competence.”
“Professionalism,” said Dr. Fuks, “is
a concept in flux. We need to humanize an over-professional
curriculum. Professionalism is a necessary but insufficient constant
for understanding the mandate of medicine.”
The symposium also included two
presentations and a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Fuks.
Dr. Andrew Major, Anesthesia,
presented an introduction to a reflective portfolio to foster and
assess non-medical expert CanMEDS roles in an anesthesia residency
program. The title of his presentation, Reflection is terrific…
as long as it’s not self flagellation, was taken from a comment
made by one of the residents who participated in the exercise.
“A year ago we had a Royal College
Review of our anesthesia residency program and some questions were
raised about professionalism, “explained Dr. Major. “Dr. Sue O’Leary
spearheaded this project, which allowed residents to practice
reflection skills in a safe environment. We were surprised at how
positive the feedback was —
not one single resident was negative about using the portfolio, and
it was effective in bringing professionalism forward as an issue.”
Clinical clerk Sandra Cooke-Hubley
gave a presentation on social networking use among medical students.
Her survey of 167 medical students in the first three years of the
MD program found that 90 per cent of students used Facebook, the
world’s largest social network, with over 75 per cent using it
multiple times a day and 90 per cent logging in at least one a day.
Ms. Cooke-Hubley said it was
encouraging that 97 per cent of the student surveyed used Facebook’s
privacy setting, although 70 per cent said it was not secure enough
and were concerned that patients might access their information.
The formal part of the day’s program
ended with a panel discussion on professionalism in medicine for the
21st century. The panelists were Drs. Donald Boudrea, McGill; Dr.
Ayelet Kuper, University of Toronto; and, Dr. Pier Bryden,
University of Toronto.