Teaching humanistic values has been documented to be as a crucial component in medical education. But, there are no direct guidelines for educator development in humanism. The authors wanted to influence faculty’s humanistic teaching and role modeling. They sought to show improvement in faculty as rated by their learners in comparison to non participants in their development program. The study consisted of 8 academic medical centers with groups of 7 to 9 participants. Participants were enrolled in an 18-month development program, consisting of experiential learning of teaching skills with critical reflection.
Faculty participants were selected by program facilitators “on the basis of being promising teachers, willing to participated in the longitudinal faculty development program.” The longitudinal study was conducted by having learners in clinic settings rate their clinical teachers on a previously validated 10-item Humanistic Teaching Practices Effectiveness (HTPE) questionnaires. Learners were unaware of the study being conducted and whether their rating was either on the participant or control. The control faculty members were similar to the participants by gender, subject area, and years of experience.
Participants in the program, demonstrated scoring significantly higher in the questionnaire in comparison to control their peer controls as humanistic teachers and roles models on all 10 items of the HTPE. The authors concluded that over time, rigorous faculty development that uses experiential learning and critical reflection will likely improve humanistic teaching and role modeling. Because of having too few facilitators, the study is limited in concluding on a correlation between institutional outcomes, and the amount of facilitators experience.
Further study needs to be made on where medical teachers are in their development and on gender differences in humanistic traits potential effects on developmental programs.
The article taught me the importance of incorporating humanistic values in teaching learners in not only the medical field, but in all fields of study that require interaction with people. I plan to become a teacher, and will implement humanistic values such as compassion, empathy and respect into my future curriculum. Practicing these values in a group setting encourages critical reflection and creates an environment conducive on providing honest feedback on skills professional qualities. Educators believe that reflective learning is essential to achieve personal growth and identify development. The strong points of the article were in its explanation of the implemented program. It discussed the selection process of the facilitators and what the curriculum consisted of. The weakest points in the article were in its lack of explanation of what the Humanistic Teaching Practices Effectiveness Questionnaire items were. Including at least the items with the highest scores in the article would have helped in understanding the learner’s side of the study. The strongly written article emphasizes how humanism is thought of as being an essential component in medical educational programs.
In conclusion, the article’s findings draw attention to the importance on the teaching of humanistic values on our future physicians. There needs to be a greater push in faculty development through program that designed to create faculty role models that foster humanistic physicians. Educators are responsible for influencing compassionate care for patients to the next generation of physicians.