More outspoken patients, the growth of market forces in healthcare, scaling up: healthcare never stands still. In 10 years' time, healthcare professionals will probably look quite different yet again. All these changes make new demands on professionals. This can already be seen in healthcare education. Students are prepared for a wide range of roles, such as communicator, collaborator and leader. The so-called CanMEDS model makes it clear that a good healthcare professional is more than someone who is competent in terms of medical techniques. The symmetrical flower petal model illustrates that the realisation of all those roles together is what makes someone a good healthcare professional.
Teaching Medical Professionalism
This book by Dr. Myra van Zwieten, written (in Dutch) for teachers and students of the Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam, describes a number of the competencies that are required for the role of a professional under the CanMEDS model. Its central message is that 'the' good doctor does not exist, and that self-reflection is, therefore, a core activity within education for professional behaviour. "Reflection contributes to knowledge of how you work personally as a professional; in fact it is a personal voyage of discovery in search of the optimum professional that you – with all your specific personal baggage – both can be and wish to be."
Mindful Professional Model
"The Mindful Professional Model helps maintain an oversight of all the roles that you as a professional fulfil"
The CanMEDS model is primarily intended to give guidance in putting together curricula. As a supplement to this, we have designed the Mindful Professional Model™. This is intended to help professionals to gain an overview of all the diverse roles that they fulfil in practice. The starting assumption of the Mindful Professional Model™ is that it is important to always know what responsibilities you bear in your work, and to whom or to what you owe these responsibilities.
In the model, we distinguish three different types of professional responsibilities: Care, Collaboration and Legitimacy. All the work that you perform involves these three aspects simultaneously. At the moment that you act within a role you; 1) are taking care of someone or something; you do this 2) within an (interprofessional) collaborative team, and 3) in a legitimate manner. A good professional is aware of all these three aspects of his or her work.
You are responsible in terms of Care for whoever or whatever you care for on the basis of your professional expertise. This responsibility of care is not limited to medical expertise. A doctor is responsible for caring for the patient in the consultation room; as a preceptor he/she cares for his/her interns and in the role of head of department or manager he/she cares for the employees within his/her team. So responsibilities for Care vary along with the role or function that you have at a particular time.
You are responsible for Collaboration with the person that you are working with in order to achieve your shared goals in the field of care. This refers to colleagues or other people that you work with based on supplementary expertise. These may be other professionals within your team or organisation, or outside it, who are experts within your own discipline or in a (totally) different field.
"A good worker is aware of his/her own roles and responsibilities and is accountable for them"
Legitimacy refers to responsibilities towards whoever or whatever you are accountable to for your work. It is only possible to function as a professional in a situation where your involvement is legitimate, for example as part of a team, organisation or professional association. You actively maintain this legitimacy, among other things, by being accountable for the way in which you perform your work as a professional. Responsibilities in terms of Legitimacy may relate to organisational policy, professional guidelines, financial frameworks, ethics, legislation etc.