“Those Darn Kids”: Having Meaningful Conversations about Learner Resistance in Medical Education

Tasha R. Wyatt*, Lisa Graves, Rachel H. Ellaway

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of professional resistance describes the principles professionals should follow when they seek to counter social harm and injustice. Applied to medical education, the principles of professional resistance can help learners and teachers balance the responsibilities to respond to harm and injustice with their roles and responsibilities as health professionals. However, there remains the problem of how educators and leaders can constructively respond to learner acts of resistance. It would seem that many leaders have dismissed learner resistance with variations on “Those Darn Kids!”, a complaint that has long been levied at those in younger generations who challenge power and authority. How can productive change in medical education be achieved if learners’ complaints are not taken seriously? Rather than dismissal, leaders and educators in these situations need the tools to engage learners in conversations that draw out their concerns.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • advocacy
  • negotiation
  • quality education
  • resistance

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