Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 February 2015
All relationships within a hospital are based on the authority of one person over another. When medical students first arrive on a hospital ward, they immediately find themselves enmeshed in a pre-existing, well-defined system of hierarchical work relations. Taking their place alongside (or more likely in back of) staff physicians, residents and interns, students join the medical sector of the ward community, which – apart from patients – otherwise consists almost exclusively of people whose work supports the doctors in their therapeutic activities.
Part of the task for any newcomer seeking entry to an established group is to identify, and be identified with, the prevailing culture. Medical education, like other professional socialization experiences, seeks to assimilate individuals into the system by imbuing them with a sense of group solidarity, obeisance, and esprit de corps. The wards in which doctors in training gradually learn to be part of the medical team provide the most powerful structure for this aspect of the socialization process.
Idealistically, and perhaps naively, it is often assumed that, in addition to the acquisition of knowledge and skills, during their apprenticeship on the wards, medical trainees will be exposed to the attitudes and values of senior physicians who, through instruction and example, will nurture those attributes society expects from the medical profession, e.g., compassion, integrity, and a sense of professional ethics. Although this idealistic portrayal of life on the wards sometimes does occur, the history of the emergence of the teaching hospital attests to the hurdles to be overcome and idealism's subsequent rarity.
To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.