UCR Hosts Conference to Examine the Evolution of Professionals and Professionalism

Graduate School of Education, School of Medicine and UC One Health Center of Expertise collaborate on three-day invitational conference that will examine the fields of education and medicine

Students at Norton Space and Aeronautical Academy

The Evolving Professional Responsibility in Diverse Communities conference at UC Riverside will examine the evolution of professionals and professionalism in the fields of education and medicine. Photo by Lonnie Duka

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu)  — A three-day invitational conference at the University of California, Riverside will examine the evolution of professionals and professionalism in the fields of education and medicine in a world where teachers and doctors are increasingly hemmed in by regulations, complex technologies, political pressures, perverse incentives, budgetary restrictions, and emotional exhaustion.

Douglas Mitchell, dean of the Graduate School of Education

The “Evolving Professional Responsibility in Diverse Communities” conference will be held October 18-20, 2012 at the Highlander Union Building on the UC Riverside campus and will feature scholars and practitioners from both the educational and medical fields presenting on why gaps and inequities persist in education and health care and what solutions are possible.

The conference is jointly sponsored by the University of California, Riverside’s Graduate School of Education, the UCR School of Medicine and the UC One Health Center of Expertise. A book containing the presented research is also in the planning stages.

“The conference will pose the question about the evolution of what it means to be a “professional” in the fields of medicine and education and the role of professional schools in preparing new members to effectively perform their work in the future, amid unprecedented pressures,” UCR Graduate School of Education Dean Douglas Mitchell said.

Mitchell said that the public debate on health care quality, access and delivery and the roles of teachers and unions in education make this a timely topic for discussion. For example, K-12 teachers may find themselves increasingly restricted by federal statues such as “No Child Left Behind” and standardized test scores. In medicine, some physicians have become diagnosticians who go from patient to patient, looking at symptoms but not building a relationship.

Photo shows G. Richard Olds.

G. Richard Olds, founding dean of the School of Medicine at UC Riverside.

“There has been a growing challenge to professional workers about finding better ways to do their work,” he said. “But to truly improve, we need to change the way we think about the problems that the workers must confront, and to put a focus on the development and maintenance of professionalism.”

The conference will bring together experts from UCR with thought-leaders from across the country, including William M. Sullivan, senior scholar at the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College, Paul S. Adler, Harold Quinton chair of business policy and professor of management and organization at USC’s Marshall School of Business, and Haile T. Debas, founding executive director of Global Health Sciences and professor at the School of Medicine at UC San Francisco. UCR participants include Mitchell, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Dallas Rabenstein, Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs and School of Medicine Dean G. Richard Olds, Distinguished Professor and Director of the SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center Jan Blacher, and Associate Dean and Professor of Economics Anil Deolalikar.

Scheduled topics include:

  • The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America
  • Re-conceptualizing Professional Responsibility

Anil Deolalikar, associate dean and professor of economics

  • Recruiting, Selecting and Training Professionals
  • Problems of Professional Practice
  • Integrating Services and Meeting Community Needs: Linking University Research and Training to Praxis in Local Work Settings
  • Nurturing a New Generation of Professional Leaders
  • Institutional Structures and Incentive Systems Shaping Professional Responsibility
  • Lessons Learned and Next Steps

“This conference will go a long way toward helping us understand what types of societal institutions, policy framework, and economic and other incentives promote or hinder professionalism among health and education practitioners,” Deolalikar said. “This is enormously important for making our health and education sectors – and more generally our society – more efficient, more equitable, and more responsive to community needs.”

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-2495
E-mail: kris.lovekin@ucr.edu
Twitter: krislovekin

Additional Contacts

Sean Nealon
Tel: (951) 827-1287
E-mail: sean.nealon@ucr.edu

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