Friday, July 14, 2006

Fifth Day of Orientation

Today was basically a day to write our code of ethics. We met at the Lerner Institute at 7:45 AM, and we were bussed over to the main Case campus from there. There are 142 University Program and MSTP students plus the 32 of us, and we were all divided up into eighteen small groups. Mine had one other CCLCM student, and the rest were from the UP and MSTP. We went over two clinical cases that were facilitated by an M4. The purpose of this was to come up with some ideas about what we thought constituted professionalism. We then merged our small group with two other small groups, and pooled our suggestions. Several common themes emerged, such as being non-judgmental, tolerance, competence, discretion/confidentiality, scholarship, empathy, compassion, advocacy, mentorship, trust, and integrity. Each of the six larger groups then selected two representatives to meet together in a final group that would make the final code that will be read on Sunday.

One group selected 3 people, because we wound up with a total of 13 students who wrote the final code. There were 3 CCLCM students, 9 UP students, and one MSTP student. It took about four hours to write the code, with a brief break in between to hear Dean Horwitz give a televised speech on the features of the new and improved UP, which is called the Western Reserve 2 Program. You can read more about it on the Case website if you're interested. But in a nutshell, they are basically integrating more public health and scholarship into the UP. The result is that they follow a schedule more like ours, with the major exception that they finish in four years instead of five because they don't emphasize research as much as CCLCM does.

I thought that the experience of writing our own code was really neat, and well worth doing. None of us was totally happy with the final result, and we each felt there were things we could have added or cut out, but we also agreed that it was a better code than we would have wound up with if we had permitted just one person to compile all of the principles together on their own. We will recite the code at the White Coat Ceremony on Sunday, so I will post the text for you then.

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