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New professionalism curriculum for RCSI students

The curriculum, which will begin in September, will be for first-year students all the way through until final year.

The undergraduate curriculum will run alongside the programme in professionalism, which is already underway in the Bon Secours Hospital Group.

Both have been developed by Chair of Medical Professionalism at the RCSI Prof Dubhfeasa Slattery, who told the Medical Independent (MI) it is important that undergraduates are introduced to the concept of professionalism and professional values as early as possible.

“Say you are a medical student and you are starting anatomy,” Prof Slattery said.

“You think ‘this is only about dissection’. But it is not, it is about you no longer being a student at school doing a Leaving Cert. You are now basically in charge of someone’s body, which is a huge privilege. You are being allowed to dissect it. You are thinking about the selflessness of the patient who donated; the compassion of the family to share their loved one with you. And in a way, you are a surgeon and this is your first patient… ”

Prof Slattery said fostering a culture of professionalism is extremely important in a challenging workplace environment such as healthcare and can be a good way of protecting physicians from burnout.

A major conference featuring national and international speakers, was recently held at the RCSI on the link between professionalism in healthcare and patient and clinician safety. A two-day course on professionalism for healthcare leaders will also be taking place on 24 and 25 May in the RCSI.

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