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FEM: Revista de la Fundación Educación Médica

On-line version ISSN 2014-9840Print version ISSN 2014-9832


OPRISAN, Anca-Alexandra-Ioana; VAZQUEZ-COSTA, María  and  COSTA-ALCARAZ, Ana M.. The physician as patient: an experience in transformative learning. FEM (Ed. impresa) [online]. 2016, vol.19, n.1, pp.9-12. ISSN 2014-9840.

Introduction. Health professionals deal with painful situations and heavy work-load every day. In addition to scientific and technical knowledge and skills, an attitude of empathy is required in order to address these realities adequately. Showing empathy is difficult without possessing certain abilities associated with self-awareness, self-knowledge and the management of emotions. These skills, however, are not taught in centres of academic learning, and our way of solving this issue -over-involvement or excessive distance- is in the long run deleterious. Development. An incident occurring in the course of professional practice is used as the basis for structured reflection, from both its clinical aspects and its implications' perspective, in terms of the physician's emotional intelligence. In addition to updating our knowledge of rhabdomyolysis, this process of structured reflection made it possible to identify areas of potential improvement in the personal attitudes of health-care professionals. On the one hand, it was an opportunity for deepening self-knowledge, questioning our own beliefs, and reviewing the values which underlie them. On the other hand, it revealed the importance of working mindfully to avoid burn-out and to better understand our patients. Conclusion. Reflection upon our own experience allows us to learn from it, and supplies us with a powerful tool to improve our patients' care and our professional communication skills.

Keywords : Critical incident; Mindfulness; Rhabdomyolysis; Transformative learning.

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