The Inner World of Medical Students

Listening to Their Voices in Poetry

51nJKny1-JL._SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_ Author Johanna Shapiro
Isbn 9781857757521
File size 22MB
Year 2009
Pages 304
Language English
File format PDF
Category Medicine

Book Description:

Joanna Shapiro has written a book specifically about medical student poetry, The Inner World of Medical Students: Listening to Their Voices in Poetry. She describes a number of different narratives and functions that medical student poems can take: chaos stories (crying for help), restitution stories (self-reassurance), journey stories (self-discovery and identity formation), witnessing stories (examining suffering), and transcendence stories (healing), (12-33). One of Shapiro's concerns is how the acculturation process in medical education affects the humanity of the student. She writes that students may "internalize the message that actual parts of who they are - perhaps their sensitivity or their tender-heartedness - no longer have a place in their professional persona," (5). Shapiro notes the restriction and distortion that medical education can have in regard to the whole person of the patient and the student. She sees a parallel process occurring in which the essential humanity of both the student and patient are molded to fit into a biomedical paradigm focused on the most superficial of human realities: observable symptoms and observable behaviors. She observes that medical training "attempts to order the world by relying on knowledge that can be obtained by reductionism, objectivity, and essentialism, as well as logical, rational thinking, and relationships that can be controlled by hierarchy, authority, and power. This leads to models of understanding and relationships that are excessively formulaic, rule-bound, and lacking in human connection," (6).

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