Bryan Pilkington, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS), recently completed a fellowship in healthcare professionalism as a member of the inaugural class of the Leadership Excellence in Educating for Professionalism (LEEP) faculty development program. This 15-month program, under the auspices of the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care, focuses on several core areas of medical professionalism: professional identity formation, organizational professionalism, resiliency and social justice.
Pilkington joined ten other faculty scholars from around the country. As part of his fellowship, he produced a project entitled "Ethics and Professionalism: Divergent Normative Constructs or Collaborative, Overlapping Systems."
The aim of this project was to investigate the relationship between ethics and professionalism to see if they can to can be integrated and taught together or if they are divergent normative constructs and ought to be understood as separate.
"In the fast-paced and ever-changing landscape of healthcare delivery, research at the intersection of ethics and professionalism is essential for maintaining a high quality of care that is centered on patients and clients," Pilkington said.
The first stage in the project involved conceptual analysis and a literature survey, which led to the construction of an argument in favor of the collaborative, overlapping systems approach. After addressing four different kinds of objections to the integration of ethics and professionalism – including differing histories, power and guidance structures, content areas, and domains – Pilkington argues in favor of integration. The particular integration relies on a fit between virtue ethics and professional identity formation and on the idea that a successful integration between ethics and professionalism does not rely on both normative constructs coming together but on a particular approach to each construct coming together.
"My research has significant implications for the way in which we educate future health professionals across a variety of fields," Pilkington said. "Being in SHMS and working at Seton Hall's IHS campus with excellent colleagues from the College of Nursing and the Hackensack-Meridian School of Medicine has reinforced for me the importance of this work and its broad applicability."
"We applaud Dr. Pilkington on his achievement and commend his research that will surely inform health professions education," said Dr. Brian B. Shulman, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Health and Medical Sciences. "His work underscores the importance of patient-centered care but also interprofessional education, two areas of key focus for SHMS."
Pilkington's project was conceived and executed under the guidance of William Agbor-Baiyee, Ph.D. (Chicago Medical School; Rosalind Franklin University).
"I am grateful for this opportunity to work with world renowned scholars of professionalism and for the careful guidance of Prof. William Agbor-Baiyee," Pilkington said.
Pilkington, whose research focuses on questions in bioethics, also serves as an adjunct associate professor in College of Nursing and an affiliated faculty member in the department of Philosophy at Seton Hall, as well as an associate professor at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.
Categories: Health and Medicine