The mentor and the trainee in academic clinical medicine

Science and Engineering Ethics 12 (1):95-102 (2006)


Medicine is a scientific discipline, but it is sometimes difficult to separate what is scientific and what is a clinical, practical activity. Man is the object, but he is always the subject of medical research and therefore these two elements become closely bound together by a thread of moral interdependencies. Every mentor of a young academic and all institutions dealing with the teaching of and research into medicine must understand multidimensional, multifaceted, and multilevel aspects of their activity and give them due regard in the educational process. The educational mission of an academic institution and of the teacher working there may be summed up in one phrase: Teach thinking! At the same time, the task of a school and the individual mentor is to teach the student to distinguish personal freedom from a lack of the feeling of responsibility. The medieval principle “Universitas magistrorum et scholarium”, and thus the corporation, the community of teachers and students, has not lost any of its relevance and value today. The situation is, in its far-reaching consequences, tragic in which the “insufficiently tutored teach”. Both physician and teacher, and especially physician-teacher, are not only professions, but also callings.

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