Monday, October 11, 2010

Biomolecular 3D Literacy, also known as how well you use protein/nucleic acid molecular visualization programs. HT: a PDB newsletter article.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

"All learned occupations have a definition of professionalism, a code of conduct. It is where they spell out their ideals and duties. The codes are sometimes stated, sometimes just understood. But they all have at least three common elements.

First is an expectation of selflessness: that we who accept responsibility for others - whether we are doctors, lawyers, teachers, public authorities, soldiers, or pilots - will place the needs and concerns of those who depend on us above our own. Second is an expectation of skill: that we will aim for excellence in our knowledge and expertise. Third is an expectation of trustworthiness: that we will be responsible in our personal behaviour towards our charges.

Aviators, however, add a fourth expectation, discipline: discipline in following prudent procedure and in functioning with others. This is a concept almost entirely outside the lexicon of most professions, including my own. In medicine, we hold up 'autonomy' as a professional lodestar, a principle that stands in direct opposition to discipline. But in a world in which success now requires large enterprises, teams of clinicians, high-risk technologies, and knowledge that outstrips any one person's abilities, individual autonomy hardly seems the ideal we should aim for. It has the ring more of protectionism than of excellence. The closest our professional codes come to articulating the goal is an occasional plea for 'collegiality'. What is needed, however, isn't just that people working together be nice to each other. It is discipline."

-- The Checklist Manifesto, pg 182-3
by Atul Gawande
published 2009
Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt & Co

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