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Medical training and the "risk epidemic" in preventative medicine
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
2013 (English)In: AMEE (An International Association for Medical Education) 2013. Colouring outside the lines. International Conference in Medical Education. Prague 24-28 August, 2013, 2013Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: In Sweden and other Western societies, preventive medicine based on risk-factor investigation of individuals and population screening, is given increasing priority by doctors and politicians. But has a medically induced "risk epidemic" now replaced earlier infectious and cardiovascular epidemics? More and more people are labelled "at-risk", even in countries with the highest life expectancy in the world. The Hippocratic Oath for physicians includes the promise "to abstain from doing harm", but any medical intervention can be harmful. Investigation of healthy people, as part of preventive medicine, is no exception. SUMMARY OF WORK: I discuss these issues in a lecture on Family Medicine to Term 8 medical students at Umeå University, aiming to promote critical thinking around a problem I regard as crucial for the future. I also emphasize people/patient-empowering approaches in research and practice, introducing concepts such as “salutogenesis” and “personal health resources”. SUMMARY OF RESULTS: Like most medical students approaching graduation, my students appreciate “hard facts” and “how-to-do-knowledge”. This lecture has caused some hostility among students as well as the teaching-staff, for rocking the students’ earlier learning in a critical period of their training, but I have also been awarded a pedagogical prize from the students – for elucidating the complexity in health care-work. CONCLUSIONS: The negative effects of preventive measures, risk-focusing and medicalisation of everyday problems are difficult to discuss professionally, but such a discussion is also longed for by medical students. TAKE-HOME MESSAGES: Critical thinking about the “risk epidemic” in medicine, and a discussion about empowering and sustainable medicine, should be introduced into medical training

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-79849OAI: diva2:645232
AMEE 2013. Colouring outside the lines. International Conference in Medical Education, Prague 24-28 August, 2013
Available from: 2013-09-03 Created: 2013-09-03 Last updated: 2014-02-19Bibliographically approved

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