Self-awareness is an individual’s tendency to pay attention to his and/or her own emotions, attitudes, and behavior in response to specific situations.As medical professionals, self-awareness is our insight into how our emotional makeup influences patient care.Ideally, such insight may gear toward an improvement in performance.Teaching programs of self-awareness may be classified as direct or indirect.The primary objective of most direct programs is to promote students’ insight into his and/or her own feelings and attitudes by classroom instruction or small group discussions in which students share with peers their emotional responses to various clinical experiences.Indirect approaches are often to teach clinical skills such a patient interviewing, patient counseling, and self-assessment.For those who lead, I believe self-awareness is especially important. As you reflect on past and/or current experiences during your tenure as a student or in your current leadership role, think about why self-awareness was important to you during matriculation. The roles of medical and clinical professionals embody a great deal of parallel. How did self-awareness increase your effectiveness and flexibility as either a learner or in your current role of leadership? Would you agree or disagree that self-awareness is a key component in allowing oneself to be more engaged with patients?One critical question is how can self-awareness be adequately implemented in most medical and clinical curriculums?Please feel to share any aspects of self-awareness and/or self-reflection as it relates to past and/or current experiences.Articles of interest:Benbassat, J. and Baumal, R. Enhancing Self-awareness in Medical Students: An Overview of Teaching Approaches. Aca Med. 2005. 80: 15-161. Retrieved from: http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/2005/02000/Enhancing_Self_Awareness_in_Medical_Students__An.10.aspxDobie, S. Viewpoint: Reflections on a Well-Traveled Path: Self-awareness, Mindful Practice, and Relationship Centered Care as Foundations for Medical Education. 2007. 82:4. 422-427. Retrieved from: http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/2007/04000/Viewpoint__Reflections_on_a_Well_Traveled_Path_.19.aspxNovack, D.H., Epstein, R.M., and Paulsen, R.H. Toward Creating Physician Healers: Fostering Medical Students’ Self-awareness, Personal Growth, and Wellbeing. 1999. Retrieved from: http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/…
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