The ways of integrating faith and practice are continuously evolving
3 MINUTE READ
What does the term, ‘evolving professionals’ mean to you?
This term will mean different things to different people, depending on your perspective.
For those who are just starting their journey
If you are just starting your journey (as a health professional-in-training), being ‘an evolving professional’ may represent the process of learning the ways of being a medical, dental, or another equally needed health professional. Evolving professionalism, from this perspective, relates to professional socialisation and professional identity formation. Both are influential in the context of learning, meaning-making and professional development, including the enhancement of ‘conscientisation’ for learning, and “helping individuals to see themselves relative to larger social contexts”.1,2 The complexities related to ‘professionalism’ may be confusing, especially when you are ‘new to the game’. In this issue, Dr Tash Yates explores professionalism and what it may mean to Christian health professionals and Dr Isaac Li shares about the challenges related to teamwork, small group learning and conflict management for the Christian introverts navigating their newly-added identity as ‘Christian health professionals’. Dr Vibooshini Ganeshalingam’s reflection, “Navigating faith during training“ is a ‘must read’ if you are a newbie looking for honest insights.
For those who have graduated
If you have graduated, the term may represent your journey of development through different training positions. For example, progressing from being an intern to a resident to a registrar in medicine, or as a postgraduate in specialty/sub-specialty training in dentistry or other health-related professions, or as a research higher degree candidate. Evolving professionals in this stage may be distinguished by the hoops that they must jump through and the experience that they must gain to become established health professionals. For many, this stage is also filled with personal life decisions. Dr Andrew Huang contemplates singleness vs. marriage, an important consideration that must not be neglected. If you have ever had “a rather horrendous shift”, Dr Isaac Tang’s sharing in “I am with you: My source of comfort in moments of doubts“ will no doubt resonate with you.
For those who are already consultants
If you are already a consultant and well-established, being ‘an evolving professional’ may involve contemplating, “What’s next?” This may include leaving a legacy, mentoring younger colleagues, or ‘slowing down and winding back’. If you are in this stage of your career, Dr Ali Norsworthy’s sharing on what she found valuable about mentorship may interest you. Or be challenged by Dr Jeremy Beckett to examine our motives in his article, “Unpacking the ‘why’ of what we do”.
As you can see, professionalism is a dynamic construct, “a set of sophisticated and socially constructed competencies” that are “refined over a lifetime”.3 As evolving health professionals, we are active, adaptive, and innovative. This is clearly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, when health professionals all around the world have been changing the way we work, adapting to scientific advances as well as social change, and balancing the many demands and expectations, both pre-existing and new, coming at us from all fronts.4 As Christian health professionals, our ways of integrating faith and practice are also continuously evolving. In his article, “How to talk about Jesus at work”, Dr Sam Chan offers some practical suggestions to help us share our Christian faith. Dr Robert Claxton shares his thoughts on a question that has no doubt crossed the mind of most Christian health professionals, “Should we pray with/for our patients? If so, how?”, while Dr Eleasa Sieh shares her personal insights on our work, mission, and calling.
Together, our writers have highlighted many aspects relevant to Christian health professionals at various stages of our careers and prompted us to reflect on some important and thought-provoking questions related to our ‘evolving professionalism’.
May you be encouraged and challenged by this issue of Luke’s Journal.
Dr Annetta Tsang Dr Annetta Tsang is a member of the Luke’s Journal editorial team and is involved in children’s ministry at her church. She is a paediatric dentist and an academic editor. Annetta is also a sessional staff at Bond University. Spending time with her family, art, books, desserts and coffee are some of her favourite things.
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- Gilpin L., & Liston, D. (2009). Transformative education in the scholarship of teachingand learning: an analysis of SoTL literature. International Journal for the Scholarship ofTeaching and Learning, 2009; 3(2): https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/ij-sotl/vol3/iss2/11/.
- Tsang AKL. The Evolving Professional (EP) concept as a framework for the scholarship of teaching and learning. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2010; 4(1): http://dx.doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2010.040112.
- Ashcroft J, Warren P, Weatherby T, Braclay S, Kemp L, Davies RJ, Hook CE, Fistein E, Soilleux E. Using a scenario-based approach to teaching professionalism to medical students: course description and evalution. JMIR Medical Education 2021; 7(2): https://doi:10.2196/2667.
- Goddard AF, Patel M. The changing face of medical professionalism and the impact of COVID-19. The Lancet 2021; 397(10278): https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00436-0.