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The politics of medical curriculum accreditation : thoughts, not facts?

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Evelyne de Leeuw
The medical profession needs to adapt to the socio-political challenges of the 21st century. These have been described as the ‘Health Society’. Medical professionalism, however, is characterised by conservative values that are perpetuated by the professional attributes of autonomy, authority, and state-sanctioned altruism. The medical education enterprise is a replication and continuation of these values, sanctioned by its accreditation agencies. The Australian Medical Council through its accreditation standards only sanctions the formal curriculum. The status quo, however, is maintained by social, cultural and political parameters enmeshed in the informal and hidden curricula. By not addressing informal and hidden value constructs that maintain elitist medical arrogance the accreditation agency fails to uphold its remit. This paper explores the philosophical and empirical bases of these phenomena and illustrates them by means of a case study. Medical education and its sanctioning structure and agency are confirmed as forceful political enterprises. We conclude that explicit review of the informal and hidden curriculum is a feasible and necessary prerequisite for medical education reform and change.

History

Journal

International journal of user-driven healthcare

Volume

2

Issue

1

Pagination

53 - 69

Publisher

IGI Global

Location

Hershey, Pa.

ISSN

2156-1818

eISSN

2156-180X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2012, IGI Global

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