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The Process of Becoming a Physician

Samuel W. Bloom
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 346, Medicine and Society (Mar., 1963), pp. 77-87
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1032619
Page Count: 11
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The Process of Becoming a Physician
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Abstract

Research into the processes by which medical students selectively acquire the attitudes and values of the medical profession falls into two general categories: (1) investigations which conceive of the medical school as a whole environment or social system, (2) studies which focus on the social psychology of particular attitudes. Both types have been concerned to a large extent with the problem of students' attitudes toward human relations. Factual evidence appears to indicate that such attitudes change in the direction of what has been labeled "cynicism." Interpreted within the full context of the student's experience, however, apparent cynicism can be regarded as a form of training in detachment which is an important attribute of the doctor's role. An important theoretical problem which has emerged from studies of attitudinal learning is whether student development is in contest with or in collaboration with the medical faculty. From the standpoint of sociology, the school environment is a vitally important influence on the development of the student into a professional. Investigations lend support to the proposition that adult socialization is important in the career of the professional.

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