Thesis on Changes in Medical Practice

Over time, social and technological changes have led to changes in medical practice and the erosion of a caring ethic. Too many patients, the image of a doctor is akin to a Norman Rockwell painting of the kind, gentle, fatherly man who makes house calls, patiently holds hands and seems intuitively attuned to his patients’ needs. Doctors, too, identify with this image as a role model.

But the world of the modern doctor is far removed from this idealized picture. Societal and technological factors have created complicated and impersonal health care settings and experiences for most patients and physicians. What Rockwell did capture was a sense of caring and trust between physicians and patient which many people considered and still consider the cornerstone of both a good relationship and good medical care.

The medical care he was depicting, representing the medical care in the 1940s, was often conducted in the private realm of the home. Patients were born there, had children and illnesses there and died there. People survived serious ailments, infections and disease with little or no assistance from medical technology, or died.

Physicians could not offer effective treatments for most diseases but they did try to alleviate suffering and pain. Physicians treated illnesses of entire families and extended families and very often had long-term inter-generational relationships with their patients. By the 1980s, however, the Rockwell image no longer pertained. Few patients were seen by family doctors and few, even within the same family, were seen by the same doctor.

The family physician providing home care had faded away and the close and inter-generational relationships were lost. One explanation for the changes in medical practice is found in the scientific and technological revolution that has and is occurring at academic medical centers (“AMCs”). AMCs with their research facilities, their hospitals, and their medical schools are the primary location for change in medical practice.

Assignment on Role of Family and Teachers

Family and Consumer Sciences teachers have long been viewed as a diverse group of educators qualified to implement education for character. As instructors who are role models of many expectations that parents and community members see for their children, family and Consumer Sciences educators are expected to teach and reinforce the concepts of self-esteem, responsibility, conflict resolution, respect, honesty, reliability, commitment, responsible decision-making, cooperation, and perseverance.

Family and Consumer Sciences teachers in Mississippi have accepted the challenge by providing a course that enables students to investigate the consequences of their actions and decisions so that they can choose wisely and maximize their potentials. The major content areas of the course are Dimensions of Personal Development, Family Systems in Today’s Society, and Parenting Decisions and Responsibilities. Process strands that permeate the course content areas are Critical Thinking, Decision Making, Communication, Conflict Management, and Resource Management.

“Character is the foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character. “Character progresses as values become virtues. Virtues enable people to “respond to situations in a morally good way “. A character so conceived includes moral knowing, moral feeling, and moral behavior. Good character includes knowing what is good, desiring what is good, and doing what is good.

All three habits make up moral maturity and are pertinent to a moral life that is capable of functioning in a social environment. The role of education in the training of youth in the area of values dates back to ancient Greece where Plato considered the moral problems of individual behavior in relation to the social good and decided that very early in a child’s life “a beginning should be made to train his mind to discriminate between good and harmful pleasures”. Aristotle stated that the “end of education should be above all else the development of an actively good man”.

Thesis on Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory

Experiential learning theory integrates the research on cognitive development and cognitive style. Kolb credits the work of Lewin in the I940’s and the sensitivity training of the 1950s and 1960s with his understanding of the importance of experience in the learning process. He conceives of learning as a four-stage cycle.

It is essentially an open system capable of using the information generated by each stage to self-correct when the cycle repeats. Reflective strategies leading to action are based on avoidance of error and on the reward for active accomplishment. Kolb states, “Thus, in the process of learning, one moves in varying degrees from actor to observer, from specific involvement to general detachment” in a continuous cycle.

This is a teleological approach using cost/benefit analysis to determine needed accommodations. Positive findings were reported for this model of instruction in the literature, but studies were primarily descriptive, not specifically tied to Kolb’s theory, and focused on the assumption of skills used in a professional role. Isolated data, from my perspective, has little meaning unless tied to theory.

This model was not designed specifically for moral development as were the Perry and Kohlberg models, and the validation and/or use of Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory is the focus of the experiential learning theory literature. An advantage of this model is that it allows for self-correcting behavior as one learns skills. It does not, however, offer a structure that balances the needs of the individual, the profession, the environment, and the patient concurrently.

The lack of inclusion of non-justice perspectives limits the appropriateness of Kohlberg’s theory as a model for ethics instruction among the health care professions. Without the ability to include alternative philosophical perspectives, Kohlberg’s work does focus on ”indoctrination.”

This could probably nicely accommodate professional interests but it lacks appropriateness to meet the pluralistic demands of clinical practice that must also be grounded in a recognition of environment-centered and patient-centered concerns.

Thesis on Character Education in Mississippi

The techniques now practiced in teaching character education offer a temporary solution by Today’s society expects public schools to correct social problems with educators being directed to address the needs of their students.

In an effort to help prepare Mississippi’s children for the task of thinking critically to solve problems in conflict resolution, parenting, and the challenges of living in today’s complex society, the Mississippi legislators created House Bill 1467.

House Bill 1467 passed into law in 1994 requires that high schools in the state of Mississippi offer Family Dynamics classes to their students. During their regular legislative session, representatives and senators deemed it worthy to enact legislation that provided grades 10 through 12 in all school districts in Mississippi with Family and Consumer Science programs.

Their legislation also provided state funding for such programs and authorized school districts and community/junior college districts to apply for funding for Family and Consumer Sciences training programs. Section 1 of House Bill 1467, cited in the Mississippi Department of Education Resource Manual for Family Dynamics, also mandated that prior to July 1, 1997, all local school districts would provide programs of education in Family and Consumer Sciences for grades 10, 11, and 12 that would include course work in responsible parenting and family living skills.

According to the bill, programs are to include instruction that prepares students to assume responsibility for meeting the challenges of living in today’s complex society. Curriculum emphasis is placed on nutrition, emotional health, and physical health. An outgrowth of House Bill 1467 has been a Family and Consumer Sciences course entitled Family Dynamics.

The Family Dynamics curriculum focuses on teaching students to utilize skills in critical thinking, decision making, conflict management, communication, and resource management as they relate to personal development, understanding the family in today’s society, and parenting decisions and responsibilities.

The one-semester Family Dynamics course cannot solve the complex problems of society alone but can be a part of the solution by assisting students to understand the need for strong family units where individuals can develop in a healthy environment.