Medicine's moment of misrule: the medical student show.
ABSTRACT Medical student shows are a prominent feature of medical student life around the world. Following a traditional vaudeville format of skits and songs, the shows are notorious for their exuberance, bawdiness, and lack of political correctness. Despite their widespread prevalence and sometimes hostile reactions, there has been no previous study of these shows. Based on research of scripts, programs, reviews, and oral history, this article explores their history and content and argues that, far from being irrelevant frivolities, these shows serve several important functions. These include the fostering of communal spirit, the development of skills in teamwork, and the collective ventilation of emotional reactions to the process of becoming a doctor. They are one offshoot of the ancient and important tradition of misrule in Western society.
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ABSTRACT: Web 2.0 applications, such as social networking sites, are creating new challenges for medical professionalism. The scope of this problem in undergraduate medical education is not well-defined. To assess the experience of US medical schools with online posting of unprofessional content by students and existing medical school policies to address online posting. An anonymous electronic survey was sent to deans of student affairs, their representatives, or counterparts from each institution in the Association of American Medical Colleges. Data were collected in March and April 2009. Percentage of schools reporting incidents of students posting unprofessional content online, type of professionalism infraction, disciplinary actions taken, existence of institution policies, and plans for policy development. Sixty percent of US medical schools responded (78/130). Of these schools, 60% (47/78) reported incidents of students posting unprofessional online content. Violations of patient confidentiality were reported by 13% (6/46). Student use of profanity (52%; 22/42), frankly discriminatory language (48%; 19/40), depiction of intoxication (39%; 17/44), and sexually suggestive material (38%; 16/42) were commonly reported. Of 45 schools that reported an incident and responded to the question about disciplinary actions, 30 gave informal warning (67%) and 3 reported student dismissal (7%). Policies that cover student-posted online content were reported by 38% (28/73) of deans. Of schools without such policies, 11% (5/46) were actively developing new policies to cover online content. Deans reporting incidents were significantly more likely to report having such a policy (51% vs 18%; P = .006), believing these issues could be effectively addressed (91% vs 63%; P = .003), and having higher levels of concern (P = .02). Many responding schools had incidents of unprofessional student online postings, but they may not have adequate policy in place.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 09/2009; 302(12):1309-15. DOI:10.1001/jama.2009.1387 · 30.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The rising popularity of digital applications, such as social networking, media share sites, and blogging, has significantly affected how medical trainees interact with educators, colleagues, and the public. Despite the increased popularity and use of such applications amongst the current generation of trainees, medical educators have little evidence or guidance about preventing misuse and ensuring standards for professional conduct. As trainees become more technologically savvy, it is the responsibility of medical educators to familiarize themselves not only with the advantages of this technology but also with the potential negative effects of its misuse. Professionalism, appropriateness for public consumption, and individual or institutional representation in digital media content are just some of the salient issues that arise when considering the ramifications of trainees' digital behavior in the absence of established policies or education on risk. In this commentary the authors explore the rising use of digital media and its reflection of medical trainees' professionalism. To address possible issues related to professionalism in digital media, the authors hypothesize potential solutions, including exploring faculty familiarity with digital media and policy development, educating students on the potential risks of misuse, and modeling professionalism in this new digital age.Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 11/2009; 84(11):1479-81. DOI:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181bb17af · 3.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Little guidance exists for medical educators on preventing misuse of digital media (social networking, blogs and media share sites) and ensuring standards for professional conduct. This study aims to assess digital media use frequency, perceptions regarding misuse, and professional standards among trainees. A 17-item anonymous survey was developed and distributed to medical students, residents, and fellows at a single institution to assess familiarity, use, and perceptions of digital media policy. Trainees agreed that physicians are obligated to represent themselves professionally in publicly viewed forums (greater 60% among all trainees). Frequent users perceived regulation of personal use as a privacy infringement (super-user 74% vs. non-super-user 49%; p < .001) but were more likely to state that physicians are obligated to represent themselves professionally (super-user 66% vs. non-super-user 44%; p < .003). Thus, it was found that frequency of use is associated with increased likelihood of opposition to regulation. All users, regardless of training level, believe in maintaining professional demeanor on these sites.05/2010; 1(1):3-10. DOI:10.1080/21507711003697527