Why do student development and course climate matter for student learning?

how_learning_worksWe need to teach the student, not the content. Students are still developing their physician personas and figuring out how to act. They may be emotionally more mature than college students, but this is quite a different environment than college. In the hospital, we are interacting with different people in different degrees of duress. It is stressful.

Each student may approach it differently. One student may be aloof and cannot make a connection with a patient. Another may be very sensitive and takes everything too much to heart. They are still developing their purpose. What kind of doctor they want to be. Why did they want to be a doctor.

They need a safe environment where they can learn and grow. And yet, medicine has a tradition for pimping, gunners and malignant instruction. Instead we need to create an environment where we make uncertainty safe. Let students know that they can think and embrace complexity. Set this tone early.

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