Humanism in Medicine Research Roundup – October 2014

booksThis post is part of our series of Research Roundups — a list of recently published studies on humanism in medicine. If you would like to be notified each time a Research Roundup is published, send an email to with the subject line “Subscribe RR”.

Learning medical professionalism with the online concordance-of-judgment learning tool (CJLT): A pilot study
Foucault A, Dubé S, Fernandez N, Gagnon R, Charlin B.    Med Teach. 2014 Oct 22:1-6.

Researchers created a Concordance of Judgment Learning Tool (CJLT) comprised of 20 vignettes involving professionalism issues. Clerks responded to each vignette with 1 of 4 answers then received automated expert feedback including explanations. Student-expert concordance scores ranged from 54 to 77 with a mean at 64.6 (standard deviation 5.1). Data revealed relevant experiential learning on professionalism issues and students enjoyed the activity.

Getting personal: Can systems medicine integrate scientific and humanistic conceptions of the patient?
Vogt H, Ulvestad E, Eriksen TE, Getz L.    J Eval Clin Pract. 2014 Oct 14.

Through a comparative analysis of the theories Eric Cassell and Denis Noble, the authors argue that, although systems biological concepts are highly relevant for understanding human beings and health problems, they are nevertheless insufficient in fully bridging the gap to humanistic medicine.

Teaching professionalism to first year medical students using video clips
Shevell AH, Thomas A, Fuks A.    Med Teach. 2014 Oct 14:1-8.

As part of a longitudinal Physician Apprenticeship course, first year medical students viewed video clips from the television series ER. Researchers used qualitative description and thematic analysis to interpret students’ responses to questionnaires, which explored the educational merits of this exercise. Overall students thought it was valuable to use TV series video clips to teach professionalism.

Professionalism: a framework to guide medical education
Brody H, Doukas D.    Med Educ. 2014 Oct;48(10):980-7.
The authors review selected literature and then provide a philosophical ethical analysis to identify two key precepts associated with professionalism that could best guide curriculum:  ‘Professionalism as a trust-generating promise’ and ‘Professionalism as application of virtue to practice.’

Fostering professionalism among doctors: The role of workplace discussion groups
Gill D, Griffin A, Launer J.    Postgrad Med J. 2014 Oct;90(1068):565-70.
Workplace-based discussion groups were established in five hospitals over a 6 month period. A mixed-methods approach was used to identify the perceived impact of these groups on participants. Understanding of professionalism at an individual level was improved along with an increased awareness of the collective nature of professionalism in everyday clinical practice. Key to the success of the groups were experienced facilitators and the creation of a legitimate space to explore professional challenges.

APGF Related Publications

Humanism and professionalism education for pediatric hematology-oncology fellows: A model for pediatric subspecialty training
Kesselheim JC, Atlas M, Adams D, Aygun B, et al. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014 Oct 12.
This article is authored by Gold Professor Jennifer Kesselheim, MD.
Researchers surveyed a national sample of 187 PHO fellows to identify their educational needs in humanism and professionalism. Participants identified numerous gaps in their training related to these concepts. Researchers developed four case-based faculty-facilitated modules which were delivered in 10 fellowship programs. 90% of responding fellows and faculty reported the sessions touched on issues important for training, stimulated reflective communication, and were valuable.

The Gold-Hope Tang, MD 2014 humanism in medicine essay contest: Third place: An extension of ….
Liu J.    Acad Med. 2014 Oct;89(10):1360-1.
The third place winner in our Gold-Hope Tang MD Humanism in Medicine Essay Contest where medical students responded to the prompt “Using a real life experience, describe how technology played a role, either negatively or positively, in the delivery of humanistic patient care.”


This post was written by Brandy King, Head of Information Services at The Arnold P. Gold Foundation Research Institute