New training for residents, a course “of the people, by the people, for the people”

We have previously reported on educational initiatives for students in various professional education programmes at Lund University. But we are also working on educational initiatives for current healthcare professionals as well. The latest initiative is an entire course, which is aimed at resident physicians.

Resident physicians need to benefit from different types of professional development, and they are keen to ensure that the competence development they undergo corresponds to the goals established by the National Board of Health and Welfare. One such (sub)goal all residents are subject to, regardless of specialty, is described as follows:

Target a2: Ethics, diversity and equality; The specialist physician shall:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the meaning of medical-ethical principles and be able to identify ethical problems and analyse them in a structured way
  • be able to handle value conflicts in the daily work
  • be able to treat people as individuals and with respect regardless of gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation and age

One of our employees at the Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities, Jonatan Wistrand, stated back in 2021 that there were few courses for resident physicians to attend that fulfilled this sub-goal. And he knew what he was talking about, because he himself was just doing his specialist training. What was mainly missing were courses where university-affiliated researchers from different disciplines collaborated with healthcare professionals – an important combination to achieve both clinical anchoring and academic height.

Thus, Jonatan began to talk about creating a course with solid scientific foundation and with authentic examples from healthcare. And he quickly got several directors of studies in Region Skåne on board. My guess is that they prefer to spend competence development funds on initiatives developed at Lund University, by researchers and physicians, with researchers and physicians and for physicians.

Course coordinator Jonatan “packaged” the content and engaged several other employees as teachers: the historian of ideas and science Anna Tunlid, the literary scholar Katarina Bernhardsson, the physician and poet Pia Dellson and the film scholar Elisabeth Björklund.

So – ready to launch? Hardly. It’s one thing to create a really good course, but if no one can find it or can sign up for it, then it’s not exactly a success. Thanks to the Faculty of Medicine’s commissioned education unit, the course got its practical (white?) coat: Budget, website, registration information, premises, refreshments, texts for newsletters – everything fell into place: Course for resident physicians: Ethics, diversity and equality | Faculty of Medicine (

We got as much as 21 registrations – more than we expected being a brand new “training provider”. We both hope and believe that this course will be able to be given to more physicians eventually. Personally, I dream of making a digital version of this initiative, so that other employers in Sweden can offer it to their resident physicians. In due course…

October 5, 2023

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