One of the most trying challenges for a biomedical student is to reach and own a high level of professionalism. In our field more than in others, being a professional is vital for the kind of responsibility we are charged with: we deal with people’s health, maybe the most precious gift of all.
According to several American studies, our training can be schematised in three curricula:
- the formal curriculum, involving the whole corpus of our theoretical education;
- the informal curriculum, involving the expertise we can achieve during our practical training;
- the hidden curriculum, involving those notions and behaviour patterns we tend to absorb from our tutors.
In our academic course, the first curriculum is not only the most important, but also the only one really considered, and this can cause more than one issue, because the notions we obtain from the three different sets should be consistent. In reality, this is a rare occurrence and the clash of different information is set to produce a conflict that, most of the times, a student is unaware of. But because of the basic learning pattern of our brain, we tend to accord a higher level of accuracy to our practical experience, setting aside what we learnt during our theoretical education.
Our teachers and tutors should take into consideration this learning pattern, in order to achieve a higher level of consistency in every aspect of their conduct.
Teachers are highly important role models, on which the students tend to base the building of their hidden curriculum. And because of that, they should possess a series of fundamental aptitudes, first of which is the willingness to teach, accompanied by a solid sense of consistency and ethic. Students tend to follow more closely that kind of teaching figures and, to this day, activities of good mentorship have given an interesting and encouraging outcome both in the educational achievements of the students and in the professional achievements of a biomedical facility.
As it’s easy to figure, a well-trained trainee is not only less bound to make mistakes, but is also an important resource in every working environment.
According to this perspective, the highest point of importance is represented by a positive teacher-student relationship, in which the trainee’s motivation is a basic part. Learning, and learning well, is our responsibility not only towards ourselves, but also in respect of our future profession. So, a compliant learner with the help of a professional teacher and mentor will more easily achieve a profitable training in biomedical sciences.
Stressing the value of an ethical behaviour in every aspect of the biomedical sphere is vital: from our actions depend other people’s health and life. Willingly accept this responsibility is the best way to achieve the highest level of professionalism in our field.
Michele Trevisan, student, I year of Medicine Faculty, University “La Sapienza”, Rome