Phronesis, Medical Leadership and Ethical Decision Making: an educational video series

Wise decisions don’t come about by chance. Phronesis, the process of making practically wise decisions is a skill many experienced doctors in our research demonstrated. Unpacking the process of making practically wise decisions enables us to recognise and enhance the development of decision making, which will benefit medical students and doctors alike.

The Phronesis and Medical Community Project has been examining the development of wise decision making. 

The final report Phronesis in Medical Decision Making  offers significant and improved understanding of how medical students and doctors acquire phronesis.

We have also produced an innovative video series using real life clinical situations from the stories of wise and unwise decision making from your research. This series and accompanying tutor and course notes are available to pilot in undergraduate, trainee and CPD settings. To accompany the series we have also developed an app as a way for analysis and reflections to be downloaded to enable individuals , teams and groups to record and gather experience to enable wise decision making to flourish. A PowerPoint will also accompany the app.

Members of the research team discuss how the video series was created.

How to access the training materials

In order to access the materials and participate as a pilot site it is necessary for you to complete and return a short licence agreement. This can be done electronically by uploading the evaluation licence form. Once your licence agreement is received you will be issued with a link and password to enable you to access all the materials and your details will be passed to the research team who will be in contact with you to discuss the evaluation.

What is the video series based on?

Doctors must demonstrate high levels skills in managing complex clinical and ethical decisions.  Medical schools, CPD providers, trainers and many others aim to support and enhance these skills  but little is known about how we develop wisdom development (Phronesis). This educational video series is a direct result of the findings of the first empirical study of wisdom development in doctors. Our research found doctors used a describable process and a deeper, more nuanced set of  15 ethical decision components (or virtues) to arrive at wise decisions.

Find out more about our research

Who created the video series ?

The research team behind these materials is based at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham working  in collaboration with clinicians and educators from the medical schools of Birmingham, Warwick  and Nottingham. The videos themselves have been produced by University of Cumbria as part of their innovative Stilwell series aimed at public sector workers.

What does the video series consist of ?

The video series consists of a set of 6 short videos, each 5-8  minutes long, which follow the journey of 2 medical students; one becoming  a consultant and one a GP.  Each video has a set of tutor notes with learning outcomes and suggested questions to facilitate dialogue and discussion, along with participant notes. A final, seventh tutorial, aims to consolidate learning.

Who is the video series for ?

The tutor and course notes have been devised for use in medical undergraduate settings but are equally applicable in continuing professional development (CPD) settings.

Who funded the development and evaluation of this video series ?

The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Is the video series open access?

The training materials are available free for a limited period to those medical schools and CPD providers who agree to participate in evaluating these materials.

The evaluation is scheduled to be completed by June 2019 after which a nominal licence fee may be charged for ongoing use.