The Electronic Journal of Biomedicine, born in 2003 as a UniNet Web Association initiative (Burgos, Spain) and supported by an editorial and a scientific committees, both international, celebrates ten years of active and productive life in this field.
The durability of this four-monthly and bilingual enterprise has been primordially based, among others, on:
- its viability during well-being and adversity times
- the variety, relevance, interest and scientific accuracy of its biological and educational papers
- the harmonized, persistent and responsible labor of their participant members
- its value for biomedical teaching, investigation and assistance, three concurrent facets of the medical act, in the so-called knowledge society
Emphasizing and extending the last but not least reason it is possible to perceive how this publication reinforces directly and/or indirectly different teaching, investigative and assistance aspects.
Following Florencio Escardó's statement1, that those features have to be built on a good person, it has to be complementarily emphasized that its right and qualified practice is founded in competences linked to knowledge, attitudes, habits, values, as well as cognitive, motor and communicational skills2. Some of them belong only to one of the abovementioned aspects while others overlap and interact, avoiding its visualization as self-contained compartments.
However, all of them are inexorably framed in ethical behavior, individual and group work, continuous upgrading and formative training of undergraduates and/or graduates.
From a more particular standpoint, Teaching initially leads to a key difference between professional teachers and professional acting as teachers. The real ones (professional teachers) require Philosophy, Psychology, Pedagogy (including learning theories) together with Informatics and Communication Technologies (ICT). Teaching (from Latin docere: to teach) demands a consistent knowledge, unusual attitudes and values suitable to be exemplary for students and determined skills capable of actively promoting creative, solving and decision-making processes. Furthermore, the good example becomes mandatory as well as the responsible fulfillment of the mission and, simultaneously, serving and honoring it despite looking utopian in postmodern times. In addition, existing different learning theories exposed to the possibility of Popper's rebuttal the risk of slipping into dogmatism has to be particularly considered3.
In reference to Investigation (from Latin investigare: following a clue), a former distinction have to be established between researchers and experimenters since, beyond how brilliant experimenters may be, their skills are circumscribed to right but de-contextualized designs.
In contrast, researchers demand a systemic, integral and progressive training with permanent evaluations and adjustments. This will empower them for proper curriculum vitae making (a frequent deficiency as obvious as it sounds), proficiency about the pre-existent knowledge on the subject to be investigated, accurate selection of methods, updated and adequate comparison between their results and those reported in the literature. In this regard, complementary communicational skills are required for preparing programs and projects, periodic and final reports, papers for publishing, master and doctoral thesis, abstracts, posters and lectures for scientific meetings as well as teaching skills for free communications. If educational investigation is carried out the relevance of theoretical frames, the different types of qualitative research and its combination with quantitative ones have to be added.
Taking into account Mario Bunge's assertion4 about making philosophy scientifically and science philosophically, a philosophical, epistemological and science historic frame has to be provided to Research Methods for reaching the abovementioned integral formation. At last, science, patience, conscience, flexible behavior, intellectual honesty and teaching are common conducts in researchers and teachers.
Finally, Assistance (from Latin assistere: being joined to) involves the use of scientific-technologic knowledge generated by researchers requiring diagnostic ability under some degree of uncertainty and judicious assumption of a founded therapy, also supplied with artistic components. Likewise, attitudes and values focused on interpersonal relationships (as in Teaching) and patience, flexible behavior, conscience and intellectual honesty (as in Teaching and Research) are also necessary.
This activity goes beyond health recovery, as it was perceived and still is, by the collective imaginary. It also deals with health promotion, illness prevention and patient rehabilitation. Moreover, the previously exclusive biological standpoint for personal and community healthcare has been enriched with harmonizing psychological, sociological and anthropological contributions. In any case, this constitutes what is desirable for overcoming medical dehumanization, impersonal techno-medicine and bureaucratic patient assistance3.
Therefore, growth-enhancing tools are needed. In this regard, being the Electronic Journal of Biomedicine one of them it is possible to predict for this decennial initiative a promising future, supported in a solid past and in a present that, though a bit stormy, reveals helpful for converting eventual weaknesses in persistent strengths and potential threats in fruitful opportunities.
1. Escardó F. El alma del médico. Buenos Aires (Argentina) Assandri Ediciones, 1954
2. Gayol MC, Montenegro SM, Tarrés MC, D'Ottavio AE (2008). Competencias investigativas. Su desarrollo en carreras del Área de la Salud. Revista Unipluriversidad; 2008, 8 (2) :1-8
3. D'Ottavio AE. Ser Médico. Reflexiones sobre la formación y la práctica médicas. Rosario (Argentina). Editorial Homo Sapiens, 2001
4. Bunge M. La ciencia: su método y su filosofía. Buenos Aires (Argentina) Ediciones Siglo XX, 1970
Alberto Enrique D'Ottavio
2000 Rosario (Santa Fe)
Mail: aedottavio @ hotmail.com