Ethics & Professionalism
Bioethics is an umbrella under which many important components of behaviour and practice reside. These include research ethics, clinical ethics, health law and professionalism. Bond University School of Medicine has appointed faculty with specific expertise, training and skills in these areas and we are here to serve Bond students, faculty, and the community through teaching, research, and clinical support. Within the School of Medicine curriculum, bioethics, medical humanities, and health law are a sampling of topics found within the "Doctor as Professional" section of the Health Advocate & Professional (HAP) Theme.
Bond University Bioethics Grand Rounds will be offered the first Wed of each month (Feb – Dec 2013), noon- 1pm, at the BUCERC lecture theatre of the Robina Hospital campus. Each month presents a different speaker and bioethics topic. CPD certificates are available for health care professionals and students are welcome to attend. For those who cannot attend, the sessions will be available on iTunesU. Sessions will cover topics such as Neuroethics, Doctoring and Social Media, Eating Disorders, Medical Tourism, Transplant Ethics, Sports Medicine, Paediatric Ethics, etc. For information on each session (topic and speaker) please see the pdf poster.
Contact & Additional Information
Dr Katrina Bramstedt
Bond University School of Medicine, Office 2_17
Gold Coast, QLD Australia 4229
Ph: +61 7 5595 5517
Fax: +61 7 5595 1652
Please contact Public Relations Manager, Gemma Alker +61 7 559 51116, to arrange media interviews
REFLECTION & REFLECTIVE WRITING FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS
Learning the art and science of medicine is no simple task. Alongside the process of acquiring a rich knowledge base, medical students often find a myriad of emotional and ethical challenges. Amidst these challenges sometimes lie personal fears and insecurities such as Will I be “good” enough? What if I make a mistake? How do I cope with life’s new responsibilities? Do I have enough empathy?
There are ways to manage these challenges
Reflective thinking and reflective writing are tools that medical students can use to help work through these fears and insecurities, to analyse personal values and beliefs, and create action plans for change. Reflection is not merely satisfying a course requirement; rather, the process can enhance your performance as a future physician. Reflection informs your practice and how you relate to patients, families, and peers.
To become a reflective thinker and practitioner, it helps to ask yourself some questions with relation to the issues that confront you. These can include*:
What is the nature of the significance of this issue to me ...... and why?
How do I feel about it (your personal response to the matter)?
Why does this issue make me feel the way that I do?
What are the implications (consequences) of the way that I feel?
Are there different points of view that may be helpful for me to think about?
Does this issue relate to any of my past personal experiences?
Are there ethical / moral / spiritual / social issues for exploration?
Once you have formed answers to questions like these you are then in a position to produce reflective writing.
A recent study by the Cleveland Clinic showed that reflective writing can enhance physician empathy (Int J Med Educ 2012; 3:71-77). The medical school curriculum at Bond University includes numerous opportunities for reflective thinking and reflective writing. Personal journaling (diaries) are also sometimes used by students as a means to document and explore their responses to challenging situations.
Students sometimes find the reflective writing assignments challenging to perform because unlike scientific or research papers, reflective writing occurs in the first person (“I”, “me”, “my”) and the writing style is not technical. Additionally, reflective writing is not merely a descriptive account of a situation (nor is it a case analysis), but rather, it includes analysing your personal responses to the challenges faced.
Consider the examples below as guides to help you with your reflective writing:
UNACCEPTABLE: I watched the cardiologist attempt to resuscitate the patient. He thumped her chest and banged the paddles but she did not wake up. The family cried, I cried. It was a very sad and distressing time. I wanted the patient to live but this was not the outcome.
ACCEPTABLE: I watched in horror as the cardiologist attempted to resuscitate the limp, grey patient. As he thumped her chest and banged the paddles my own heart cringed. I had a flash of thought that this woman, inches away from me, could be my mother. With each of his thrusting attempts to revive her I seemed to also emotionally and physically feel them myself! When the doctor’s efforts ceased, the patient appeared as if asleep, but also battered. I, too, felt battered. While this was not my family member, I could not help but cry. I can’t react this way to all my patient deaths--people will think I am weak and frail. I have never watched a patient die before and I wonder, even though my inner desire is to save all my patients, maybe, death was the best outcome for her. I have a lot to learn about myself and medicine in order to be a good doctor, especially in trying times like the end of life.
The writing in Box 1 is descriptive but not reflective. In Box 1, the writer is merely relaying a series of events without providing any depth of personal response and analysis.
Compare this to the writing in Box 2. Here, the author vividly describes the series of events, discusses personal responses to the events, reflects on personal experiences/memories, analyses personal challenges, and creates goals for growth.
The guidance and examples provided are a launch point from which to strengthen your reflective abilities.
For more resources on reflective writing see: