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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 668

Teaching fearlessness: A manifesto

1 Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio, USA
2 Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, USA
3 Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Correspondence Address:
D Wear
Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22267361

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Context: Negative role modeling is a plague medical educators fight once students enter the clinical arena. The literature is replete on the fact that students routinely encounter faculty who display attitudes and behaviors inconsistent with the values taught throughout the medical curriculum, particularly in the preclinical years. Approach: Using a back and forth between the text of a third-year student's reflective essay and two of her faculty's observations on her negative encounters with several clinical faculty, the authors propose 'teaching for fearlessness.' Discussion: Using Papadimos and Murray's use of 'fearless speech' derived from Foucault's thinking on parrhesia, the authors build a case that students should be encouraged to expose and challenge inequities on behalf of their patients, themselves and the profession at large. Conclusions: Medical educators should model and provide students with opportunities to develop and use 'fearless speech' as a way to reshape the culture of medical education and patient care.

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