Understanding what it means to be a health practitioner: biographies of care and concern
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INTRODUCTION: I am not a health practitioner, although I work in a Health Sciences Faculty. As the faculty’s ‘Education Advisor’, I am intimately involved in the education of health practitioners. I mentor students to learn more effectively and work with teachers to help prepare clinically competent, caring professionals. Perhaps because I am not medically trained, I evaluate graduates through the eyes of a patient-consumer. I am obviously concerned with clinical competence. But I also want to know, ‘will this graduate professional understand me as a person, viewing my health care as integral to who I am as a human being, collaborating with me to ensure my best quality of life?' Growing research informs on how to teach for technical competence, ensuring that graduates display the knowledge and skills prerequisite for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.