Our Graduate Medical Education Teaching Philosophy
“Let not avarice blind my eyes from beholding the truth. Grant that I see in each patient only the person, without distinction between rich and poor, friend and foe, good and evil. In those afflicted show me only the human being. If physicians wiser than I wish to teach me, grant me the desire to learn from them, for the knowledge of healing is boundless…” – Maimonides
As physicians, we have the good fortune to leave for work every day knowing that we will be challenged and that we will make a difference in our patients’ lives. As members of the faculty, we can also find joy in knowing that we are helping to shape the next generation of physicians. Moreover, as we strive to perfect our relationship with our students, residents and fellows, we will be mindful of the awesome responsibility we have undertaken.
We recognize students will often find the road ahead daunting. The volume of information for them to master may seem unconquerable, and the complexity of what we do may be impossible to fathom. Others may take their responsibilities too lightly. We must find the balance between alleviating the anxiety and upholding the standards our profession demands.
Indeed, we have much to impart. But, too much information without structure is just noise. We must strive to distill complicated topics into their essentials and teach students a theoretical framework with which to organize their information.
We must not assume that what we think we say is what they hear, or expect students to passively accept our teachings as truth. Interactive teaching will ensure concepts are incorporated and that we continue to learn from our students.
Learning is a skill that needs to be taught and a habit that needs to be cultivated. It is imperative to not only impart knowledge or relay facts, but to instill a love of learning and to create lifetime learners capable of the critical and analytical thinking that will allow them to decide what is worth believing, and what is not.
We are committed to the demonstration of superb clinical skills and the practice of medicine solidly grounded in the best available scientific evidence. However, we are equally committed to the notion that even a vast fund of knowledge is not enough to alleviate our patients’ suffering – or be truly great teachers. We must set an example for our students as we treat our patients with empathy and compassion. We must communicate well and listen even better. We must always be sensitive to cultural, ethnic and gender issues, as they influence our effectiveness as healers and teachers.