Medliorate

Improving medical students

Negative Reinforcement in Residency

Posted by medliorator on November 15, 2008

At the core of every doctor’s training is the internship, that first year of residency that begins just a few weeks after all the pomp and circumstance and lighthearted celebration of medical school graduation. Sometimes referred to as simply the first year of residency, internship is the first step in a professional journey

Negative reinforcement during those early years taught me to be a cautious and conscientious doctor. Our teachers rarely praised us for good work and never allowed us to forget our errors. But sometimes the lessons had little to do with learning how to care for patients.

“People have a natural desire to do good, physicians especially,” she said. “But the problem,” she continued, “may be a training system that encourages not how I can improve but how I can survive.”

A Positive Approach to Doctors-in-Training [NYT]

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