BOOK REVIEWS REFLECTIONS
I have done books reports before, long ago back at the primary and secondary levels. Learning that at this stage I would be required to submit book reviews triggered some nostalgia of my days in high schools. I suspected that this was not the same as that which was required at the secondary level and I was right. A book review is more than just a summary of the plot or the author’ but rather an in depth and critical analysis of the ideas contained in the text. It requires attention to the details of the book and a presentation of one’s own impressions and thoughts about the whole piece. My impression about the usefulness and applicability of the information presented in each book resulted from questions I needed to answer in order to rate the book.
The task itself was daunting at first with now having to read three books and review them , in addition to the full list of requirements for this course!!! Browsing the list of recommended readings did not settle the anxiety either as these books all seemed quite long and very academic. I decided to first determine what my needs were and then find materials to meet those needs. The first was to understand what teaching and learning, especially clinical, was about and how to do this well. I needed to find resources that would provide the information I need. My search among this list of readings revealed the book by Richard Hays,” Teaching and learning in the Clinical Setting”. This first book review turned out to be a good resource for the approach to clinical teaching. I appreciated the simple language of the piece, the real case scenarios used for examples , the summary of the main points for each idea and the inclusion of assessment and evaluation methods as part of teaching and learning. Even though this book was more geared to the primary care setting and medical student level for teaching and learning, I gave it a good overall rating as the ideas apply somewhat to all settings.
My second need related to handling of challenges in teaching and learning particularly those related to teaching by teacher and learning by learners. When I read the summary on the back of the Book “ Educational Diagnosis and Management of Challenging Learning Situations in Medical Education” by Miriam Lacasse , I knew it would be a quite useful and informative read so this became my second book reviewed. I was right! In the end, it was my solemn opinion that all clinicians and especially those involved in academia, should be exposed to this topic. This is so as we are not immune to encountering challenging learning situation. It is important for these to be recognized and managed appropriately.
The third and final book reviewed titled “ The Physician as Teacher” co-authored by Neal Whitman, and Thomas L. Schwenk was selected to address the desire to understand how the physician can be situated in the role of teaching. It was here that I learned that the word ”Doctor” derived from Latin means “to teach”!!! Who would have thought?!! I concluded that this was a very good book with information that is important for all clinicians to read and apply. The authors utilized principles that are familiar to this audience, fostering ease of connection with the thoughts expressed.
I enjoyed completing these book reviews. In addition to learning a lot in doing so, I even found a few books that I want to add to my home library. Now when I read , I am resolved to unravel the deeper significance of the writers thoughts and ideas.
Hays, R. (2006). Teaching and learning in clinical settings. Oxford: Radcliffe.
Lacasse, M. (2009). Educational diagnosis and management of challenging learning situations in medical education. Québec: Université Laval, Faculté de médecine.
Schwenk, T. L., & Whitman, N. (2007). The physician as teacher. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.