"Beginning with the end in mind"

Imagining personal retirement speeches to promote professionalism

Eunice Yu, Scott Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Problem The goal of teaching professionalism in medicine is to transform a theoretical concept into an internalized and actualized identity. Many trainees struggle with professionalism in the abstract, particularly when instruction methods are didactic and disconnected from personal experience. Approach The authors aim to demonstrate the feasibility of having interns frame a personal definition of professionalism based on a reflective technique called "beginning with the end in mind." Interns composed remarks that might be used to introduce them at their own retirement ceremony following a career in medicine. This "career eulogies" exercise was introduced to groups of six interns during the first third of the internship year as part of a two-week curriculum focused on professional development. Two investigators independently coded the written introductions, identifying emergent themes through content analysis. Outcomes Of the 19 interns in an internal medicine residency program (2012-13), 17 participated in the exercise. Six themes emerged from the data: aligning behaviors with core values, achieving excellence in medicine, changing the world and giving back, valuing teamwork and relationships, realizing work-life balance, and appreciating a career in medicine. These themes correlate with accepted published definitions of professionalism. Next Steps The personal reflections produced through this exercise allow physicians to begin to formulate their professional self-conception. Extensions of this work might include linking such forms of critical reflection to individualized learning plans and updating the speeches over time. Further research on "reflecting forward" may determine its impact as a complement to traditional narrative reflection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-793
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume90
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 25 2015

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Retirement
retirement
Medicine
medicine
Exercise
Internship and Residency
career
Internal Medicine
work-life-balance
Curriculum
internship
teamwork
Teaching
didactics
trainee
Research Personnel
Learning
Physicians
content analysis
physician

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Education

Cite this

"Beginning with the end in mind" : Imagining personal retirement speeches to promote professionalism. / Yu, Eunice; Wright, Scott.

In: Academic Medicine, Vol. 90, No. 6, 25.06.2015, p. 790-793.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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