To go far one should start near and the near for me is taking a closer look into the “values” I uphold as a medical educator. My core values are “Looking,” “Listening” and “Respect.” Here, I will provide a brief account of what these values mean to me and how I practice them.
To quote John Berger, “We only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice.” What we see can be influenced by our knowledge, experience, prejudices and attitudes. In addition, what we see may not be all that is going on as others may be guarded and project only what they would like others to see. We are always abstracting from what see and as this may be incomplete, any action we take based on this abstraction may lead to incomplete action. Looking with an open mind and without a screen of prejudices, opinions, past experiences and knowledge is enabling me to ‘closely read the situation’ and respond appropriately. I practice “Looking” by:
Being aware that personal, ideological and emotional biases can influence looking with an open mind.
Being aware that each person has a unique perspective and show willingness to look at their perspective
Being aware that my knowledge, experience and emotions can prevent me from looking at the other’s perspective
Listening is at the heart of everything I do as a medical educator. It is fundamental for establishing and maintaining effective and trusting relationships with the “other.” 1 I practice “Listening” by:
Being present with an intention to pay attention,
Showing willingness to understand the learner by asking the “right'“ questions,
Staying in control of the barriers to listening,
Responding not reacting
Showing and practicing respect is integral to clinical and educational practice. The dictionary meaning of the word respect means to ‘show respect towards’, ‘regard highly’, ‘courteous regard for people’s feelings. Respect also means honouring whatever the beliefs, opinions, and values the “other” has. By fostering this value, I am mindful of my language, attitude and behaviour when I am working with the learners or having a conversation with learners. I practice “Respect” by:
Creating a space in which learners feel safe to report express their views and share their opinions
Never loosing temper
(1) “other”= student, patient, colleague, person etc.