Toward an informal curriculum that teaches professionalism
The social environment or “informal” curriculum of a medical school profoundly influences students’ values and professional identities. The Indiana University School of Medicine is seeking to foster a social environment that consistently embodies and reinforces the values of its formal competency-based curriculum. Using an appreciative narrative-based approach, we have been encouraging students, residents, and faculty to be more mindful of relationship dynamics throughout the school. As participants discover how much relational capacity already exists and how widespread is the desire for a more collaborative environment, their perceptions of the school seem to shift, evoking behavior change and hopeful expectations for the future.