Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Development of Clinical Wisdom
There is a growing global demand for well-prepared and practically wise professionals across the disciplines. Professional undergraduate schools have been variously delegated the task of preparing physicians, lawyers, engineers, teachers, nurses, social workers, and so forth. There is evidence that the nature of professional education is changing and the the challenges facing neophyte professionals has become more complex. Entering a profession with a certain threshold of practical and performance wisdom is seen as desirable, perhaps essential. The foundational premise upon which all of these practice-based programs are based is that authentic and deep learning occurs when the learner applies relevant knowledge and skills to solving real-life problems encountered by actual practitioners in the field. Experiential programs which seek to develop these wise, practitioners are identified by a variety of labels, such as: preceptor ship; clerkship; service learning; clinical practicum; extended practicum; extern ship; clinical education; clerkships; or cooperative education. This paper explores the notions of clinical wisdom development and performance wisdom from the perspective of ten different disciplinary sources. A sample of representatives from each of these ten disciplines who were asked to provide their views on how wisdom is thought to be best fostered in their "signature" professionals-in-preparation programs.
Keywords: Multi-Professional Education, Professional Learning, Preceptor Ship, Clerkship, Extended Practicum, Clinical Education, Extern Ship, Service Learning, Internship
Prof. Keith Walker
Professor, Educational Administration, University of Saskatchewan