Original Research

Formation of professionalism: A courtship between academic staff and prospective clinical associates

Pieter H. Du Toit, Lumbani Tshotetsi, Sabatine Carvalio-Zongo, Melissa Olifant, Bonolo Mpholo, Murray Louw
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 18, No 1 | a1174 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v18i1.1174 | © 2022 Pieter H. du Toit, Lumbani Tshotetsi, Sabatine Carvalio-Zongo, Melissa Olifant, Bonolo Mpholo, Murray Louw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 November 2021 | Published: 28 April 2022

About the author(s)

Pieter H. Du Toit, Department of Humanities Education, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Lumbani Tshotetsi, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Sabatine Carvalio-Zongo, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Melissa Olifant, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Bonolo Mpholo, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Murray Louw, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The study was conducted to the background of a qualification in medical clinical practice offered at a Faculty of Health Sciences at a university in South Africa.

Aim: The aim of the study was to determine how the theory of Whole Brain® thinking informed our professionalism and its relevance to transforming self and practice.

Setting: The study was conducted in the context of a higher education institution, the University of Pretoria. The focus is specifically on the Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice (BCMP). It has been offered since 2009.

Methods: Participatory action research was the design of choice. The participatory part culminated in working as a collective in a scholarly community of practice. What is reported is the use of the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®) as a research instrument. It was used to determine the thinking preferences of the lecturers. Each lecturer obtained their brain profile that served as baseline data for self-study in the future. The profiling revealed their strengths and areas that they needed to work on – as individuals and as a team.

Results: The theory of Whole Brain® thinking was identified as an enabler towards transforming self and practice. This transformation involved both lecturers and prospective clinical associates.

Conclusion: The value of the study mainly lies in the development of the professionalism of the lecturers. Linked to professionalism is the value of using the theory of Whole Brain® thinking that primarily informed the teaching practice of the lecturers. And secondary to this, the students’ authentic clinical practice, which included patients and simulated practice where peers act as patients. The study contributed to the scholarship of teaching and learning in a medical clinical context and to participatory action research – both interrogated from a Whole Brain® perspective for the first time in the context in question.


Keywords

clinical associates; early-career academics; participatory action research; professionalism; scholarly community of practice; scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL); self-study; thinking preferences; Whole Brain® thinking

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