HealthLeaders Media Staff, November 7, 2008

At the core of every doctor’s training is the internship, that first year of residency. New York Times contributor Pauline W. Chen, MD, says that negative reinforcement during those early years taught her to be a cautious and conscientious doctor, and her teachers rarely offered praised for good work and never allowed her to forget errors. But now, Chen wonders if emphasizing the negatives—what not to do and the terrible personal repercussions—is necessarily the best way to go about teaching professionalism.

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