Medical Students and Society’s Health: Guardianship, Speaking Truth to Power, Reflective Thinking, and Effective Politics

Document Type


Publication Date



Medical students, as nascent physicians, must learn to advocate for social, economic, educational, and political positions that lend an advantage to their patients and the practice of medicine. To do so necessitates a keen awareness among medical students as to the discourses circulating in a society, the stakeholders who create and perpetuate these discourses, the evidence that supports or refutes the “truths” created by these discourses, and an understanding of what form the “good”, in regard to healthcare, takes in a society. Here we present an argument based on the works of Plato, Foucault, and Dewey, regarding certain necessary requirements regarding the Guardianship of society’s future health care. To be effective Guardians, medical students will need teachers and mentors who will teach, foster, and tolerate fearless speech and reflective thinking that result in effective politics.