So if ‘collaborative group learning’ wasn’t enough of a stretch, now they want us to do ‘weekly reflection’. 😉 Don’t they understand that as a group we are the kind of people who just want to get things done? We don’t want to talk about it and we DEFINITELY don’t want to reflect. When are we supposed to find time to learn medicine between all the talking and reflecting?
Med school is a culture where feeding, sleeping and reproducing all come second to knowing the right answer. Well, feeding and sleeping anyway. (The average age is 23). Everyone has gotten pretty good at taking turns giving answers during collaborative learning, but reflection? As in, create a permanent record of our uncertainties? Excuse me,…what?
Let me come back to this in a minute. First let me set another stage. One of our kids used to have some trouble at school. Sometimes I had to talk to the principal. Like, everyday. By ‘everyday’, I mean five days a week and weekend emails on the really good weeks. He was well intentioned but he didn’t seem aware or capable of hiding his educational arrogance. He talked down to me kindly but constantly.
Ok, back to the topic at hand. The point is they just don’t want their doctors to talk down to people. They want us to realize that our patients are intelligent people too. We can learn from them if we just stop to hear them. And reflect for a minute.
This month I interviewed a woman with lupus. She had been a high school administrator for years in addition to running a personal counseling practice. Losing her career to her illness has been the most difficult thing she has had to overcome. She was a high achiever – ambitious, capable and competent. She believed that hard work would get you places. She’s been journaling through her illness for nearly a decade and we sat together for an hour while she shared just a few of her reflections with me. She spoke of loss, power, trust, faith, hope, ego, control, and acceptance. She spoke of patience, contribution and wholeness.
Reflection gave her words so much power and it makes me ask, why do we run away from it? Why is reflection so frightening?
Comments? I’m listening….