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Philosophy for Resilience: A Meaningful Intervention for Medical Students


Philosophy and ethics in medicine is an interesting and often fascinating topic of enquiry, however uptake amongst medical students is highly variable and it is often regarded as a nonessential component of the medical curriculum. Medical students themselves are often overwhelmed by the demands of medical study, and cite high rates of burnout. This paper describes a novel intervention provided at Western Sydney University as part of the Professional Development curriculum, which provided three broad tutorial interventions in their first clinical year. The tutorials gave an overview regarding philosophy theory, but are specifically designed to encourage resilience amongst students. The tutorials were highly regarded and represent a novel way of engaging young doctors. It is suggested that orienting philosophy teaching towards issues immediately relevant to training doctors can greatly improve student acceptability.

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Many thanks to the invaluable assistance from Emeritus Professor Malcolm Parker, who provided suggestions on the incorporated philosophical material.

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Correspondence to Neil Jeyasingam.

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Student surveys were completed within research governance of the University of Western Sydney’s Research Office. The author declares no conflict of interest.

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Jeyasingam, N. Philosophy for Resilience: A Meaningful Intervention for Medical Students. J Acad Ethics 20, 67–72 (2022).

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  • Philosophy
  • Medical student
  • Resilience
  • Burnout
  • Support
  • Education