Psychology knowledge in psychology as a contributing member of

Psychology is the basic foundation into most scientific
fields. The use of psychological concepts can be applied into many fields
including the ones in which I am most interested in, neuroscience and surgery. With
evidence using a literature review, I will analyze different psychological concepts
(memory and the principles of learning), and how they relate back to the
neuroscience field along my surgical career path. I will also examine the
importance of basic knowledge in psychology as a contributing member of
society.

Career
Goals and the Roles I Play. 

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              Out of the
numerous career paths available to me, the one I find most interesting is to be
a trauma surgery abroad. A trauma surgeon treats traumatic injuries using both
operative and non-operative techniques. My goal is to work with unprivileged
patients with life-changing medical conditions. To reach these goals, I have to
complete four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and
residency with a fellowship in my specialty.

 Pursuing this career path, I have chosen to major in neuroscience and political
science with a concentration in comparative politics; the two majors allow me
to have a wider range in the medical field, along with having an understanding
of international government and politics. I have always enjoyed learning how
the brain works and the different theories in the neurological field;
Neuroscience gives me the ability to conduct research while being a trauma
surgeon, not to mention, I am to gain the skillset of neurosurgery as well. I
found neuroscience to be an interesting field. With it still being new, the
field allows me to grow and develop while being innovative and an edge for
medical school.

However, political Science was a little different. Before my
junior year in high school, I was not a big fan of politics or government, in
fact I hated it. When my junior year arrived, I participated in Girls State,
which is a program that selects three girls from every high school in Tennessee
to participate in a week-long program that focus on government and policy, such
as electoral process and voting. After attending, I became very intrigued by
politics and government so much that I decided to study it in college and make
it a part of my career path.

I play a number of roles in my career path. Among them, I
play as colleague, a teacher of medical teachings, an advocate for my patients
and community, a leader, a doctor, a researcher, and possibly even a friend. I will
have colleagues around me to ask for assistance and feedback, and therefore,
will also ask for their assistance as needed. I play a teacher for those below
me and sometimes even above me. In surgery, you are always inventing new
techniques to use in the field; you are always researching disease and discovering
new scientific findings. You have to present these finding and teach the new
information. I play an advocate for my patients, when they cannot do so for
themselves, and speak up for them, so they may gain the necessary treatment. I
am leader as I lead different medical teams into different countries and
villages. Finally, I play the role of a friend. Sometimes, in healthcare, it
can be very scary and my patients may just someone to understand what they are
going through. I could also be a friend to my colleagues as they go through difficult
and easy cases.  In my career path, I
play an endless number of roles.

Psychological Concepts and How They Can
Applied.

 Neuroscience has shared a
very intimate path and close relationship with psychology. In fact, the field
of neuroscience actually derived from the discipline of psychology. It only
makes sense that many of the psychological concepts of psychology can be
applied to neuroscience and to surgery. For me and my chosen career path, I
find that the principles of learning and memory can be very affective and
helpful in the development of my career. To be a trauma surgeon with background
in neuroscience, I will have many important and critical concepts to learn and remember.
I will have to know many procedures and perform them with no errors. The concept
of memory and the principles of learning will allow me to, not only learn and
perform those skills without difficulty, but to find different techniques to
store them in my memory.

  Memory is a
set of process used to encode, store, and retrieve data over a period of time
(Powers, 2017). Memory is known to be stored in the hippocampus,
which is a part of the limbic system of the brain. There are three types of
memory: sensory, short (working), and long-term memory. In the developmental
process of my career, I will mainly be using long-term memory. Long-term memory
is the retention of information regarding facts, experiences, and skills. Under
the umbrella of long-term memory, I can have explicit memories that I can
intentionally and purposely call on, or I can have implicit memories that I
don’t recall intentionally. Explicit memories can be episodic or semantic. Episodic
memory is a memory of something that was right in front of you such as, a first
kiss or my making my first cut in surgery.

 On the other hand,
Semantic memory is a memory of a fact of the world. For example, the fact that
2+2=4, or the fact that Barack Obama was the 44TH president. These
types of memory can be very affective in my field as I study the different
parts of the body and learn the basic facts of the brain. The other part to
long-term memory is implicit memory. This type of memory is the memory that I
don’t intentionally recall. Implicit memory includes procedural, priming,
conditioning, and habituation. Procedural stores any steps that I don’t have to
fully remember, like how to drive and eventually different routine procedures
in the OR (i.e. how to scrub in, or checking vital signs). Priming is
identifying a stimulus quicker after enduring another stimulus; Conditioning refers
to classical conditioning. This can be applied to my development in surgery,
particularly with attitudes and discrimination.

Within some professional environments that I have observed
in the medical field, certain professions (surgery, radiology, nursing) there
will be a priming, attitude, that one profession is more important than the
other. Hopefully, this can be reversed. Lastly, the last type of long-term
memory can be habituation. Habitation can be as simple as cracking my knuckles
or singing the birthday song to time how long a scrub in. All types of memory
will be useful as I move through my career, but most of the information, in my
opinion, I will have to store long-term.

But as we all know, before you can memorize something, you
must learn it first. The principles of learning are very useful and vital to my
development as I move along in my career path. The principles of learning can
allow me to use different techniques to learn the information and skills
necessary to my profession.

Learning is defined as the change in an organism’s behavior
and thought due to an experience (Powers, 2017). As a student, I am required to
learn a large amount of information in order to succeed, and therefore, I will
mostly learn, as a medical student and resident, through observational
learning. I personally have always learned better when I can see the concept
being applied and not from hearing the subject being taught. These concepts of
learning allow me to see the information in real life and learn the procedures
that I will perform in the future. That is not the only principle of learning
that can be applied to my career path. Operant Conditioning- a method that grants
learning through the system of rewards and punishment – shows me (and other
students) the reality of our fields. For example, if I give the wrong
medication because I didn’t not check my work or read the patient history, my
patient’s condition could possibly worsen as a result and punishment. But if I
did a procedure correctly, my patient’s health could get better as a reward.

Classical conditioning can be a part of the learning process
as well. Classic conditioning is the process of when two stimuli are repeatedly
paired. One might argue that when a trauma occurs certain stimulus might be
paired together, such as a screaming spouse of a patient and a traumatic
incident or the smell of chemicals and a deceased body. The two were once not
pair to me but after encountering them quite often, I may begin to see one
stimulus and automatically look for the other.

My career path development encounters many things. I have to
use the principles of learning and memory as well as other concepts in order to
be successful. Therefore, the concepts of psychology are vital and very
important to possess. Knowing the background information on memory and the
principles of learning, I now have sense of different techniques and ways to
learn and memorizes my skills and the abundance of knowledge that will be given
to me.

Literature Analysis

When researching
memory and learning within the neuroscience (on the surgical path) in the
psychology discipline, I became overwhelmed with all the studies conducted.
However, several stood out and were even found quite interesting. These studies
have showed how memory and the principle of learning have not only established
a relationship with in the field and can be useful, but expanded as well.

Memory is important
for anyone. However, to a surgeon, it is very important, not just for us, but
for our patients as well. In surgery, sometimes a patient’s memory can be
altered. This is shown in a study conducted my several researchers that saw how
memory was altered after a postoperative mesial temporal lobe epilepsy
(mTLE) surgery. The experiment had 30 patients total; 13 of them were the
control study, while the other 12 had surgery. The 12 patients were each
evaluated before and after surgery, and all patients had a verbal memory
encoding that related to the fMRI study. It was concluded that a patient who
had left hippocampus sclerosis was different from the normal subjects, and
therefore, had a distribution of memory after surgery (Richardson, Strange, Duncan
& Raymond, 2006). In addition to that study, other scientists have found
that the hippocampus could only be a temporary stop for a memory where it is
pieced together (Squires, 1992). This study was conducted on rats, monkeys, and
humans where they went under a series of test.

In another article, patient’s
memory for medical information is analyzed. We often require the patient’s help
when it comes to their medical history. It is very important to access their
medical history and have the knowledge of the patient’s condition when deciding
on a course of action. The article states that there are three main reasons as
to why a patient might have a hard time recalling or forgetting their medical
information. It goes on to say that if the doctor use easier medical terminology,
the mode of the information (such as writing the information down or speaking
it to the patient), and the patient themselves. The authors suggested that
patient may have a hard time recalling due to age, anxiety, outcome expectations,
and distress among other things. Patients forget 40-80% of the information a doctor
tells them (Kessels, 2003).  The research
conducted by Dr. Craik and Lockhart in 1972 could also support why patients
forget the information that is told to them. 
The research suggest that verbal information is last up to 30 seconds
before it is forgetter, unless it is stored in the encoded to long-term memory,
where it could last a long time and not be forgotten (Craik & Schacter,
1972). This article is relevant because it shows how memory is not only affect
by operations, but by the patient themselves.

Relating back to explicit
and implicit memory, Dr. Graft and Dr. Schacter performed an experiment that
tested implicit and explicit memory in amnesic patients. The purpose of the
experiment was to examine repetition priming effects on word completion task
that are influenced by unrelated word pairs. They performed 2 experiments one
in college students and the other in amnesic patients; both were tested on
their memory with priming. The subjects had to respond with the correct words
from a study list presented to them after being shown the initials letters from
the study list. It was concluded that there was a larger priming effect in same-context
condition than different-context condition, however that only applied if the
study process was elaborated and was required (Graft & Schacter, 1985). This
experiment provided more information in the neuroscience field as more research
was done.

When researching different
studies on learning, I became overwhelmed and stressed because the studies were
each different in their own way. Ranging from research on cognitive styles in
relation to learning disabilities to learning progression in science education,
the research articles all offer some type of insight in the learning process,
and therefore, back my claim the use of the learning (and the principles) are
relevant to the study of neuroscience and in the medical field.

In an article
discussing learning processions in the scientific field, Duncan and Rivet
analyze the learning process and discover different approaches to gaining the
information in the scientific world. The article suggested that educators focus
on main ideas in the sciences and provide a sense of consistency over the years
of schooling. It was also suggested that a practice-orientated approach be
pursued, so students may succeed in science education.  This will provide students with a basic
foundation as they move into higher education (Duncan & Rivet, 2013).  This could also be backed by the researched
conducted by Benton in 2010. This researched showed how brain technology could
actually improve learning and education in the classrooms., The purpose of the experiment
was to see how using brain-imagining could detect underlying neural processes involved
in learning and motivation. It was found that the low-level brain region, that
were responsible for basic life regulation, was associated with admiration and
virtue. It went to pull other experiments that were conducted that proved how
brain-imaging can prove the principles of learning and apply them to classroom.

Another study focuses
on overcoming learning difficulties with different cognitive styles. The study used
66 students ranging from the age of 18 to 50 years old. The study was conducted
from their first to seventh semester; the purpose of the experiment was to find
out preferred strategies used to overcome learning disabilities. It was
concluded that there were four types of students that each used one of the four
strategies: Consulting, Isolation, and low or high activity in finding
solutions to a problem. The conclusion of the study was the more impulsive a
student was the more the student used a communication strategy (Consulting) to
learn. The significance in this study was the learning styles discover with the
learning disabilities in the students.

The Importance of
Psychology as a Member of Society.

 As a member of society, it
is important to have some type of psychology background, whether it be a high
school class or a college course. Psychology allows you to see and analyze different
concepts of life. It also aids you in being a better student. The concepts on
memory and problem-solving helps you view education information in a way that
allows you to learn easier. Not to mention, the concepts of relationships and
parent-styles also helps be a better member of society, because if we have better
relationships and parent-styles, we can contribute more to society. Psychology
gives people insight in how the mind works along with the body. With this
knowledge, people can learn to avoid stressful situations and can achieve
personal, and professional goals.   

In conclusion, psychology has played an influential role in
many scientific fields. Personally, psychology has given me the basic
information to assess my roles in my chosen career path, use psychological
concepts to further improve my career development as I move forward, and
excelled my role has a member of society. After researching, I have showed how
memory has sparked many studies in the field of neuroscience and surgery, and
shed light on how the different principles of learning have open education psychology
and proven learning techniques in the classroom. Psychology has proven to be a
part of many scientific and non-scientific fields.

 

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