A guide for the twenty-first century student to the new knowledge and information about
Based on Dr. Nathaniel Wesley's unique ABC concept of five characteristics�
In the dictionary section, you will also find applications of professional development terms like:
� Attention Span
� Body Language
� Burning Bridges
� Closed Doors
� Eye Contact
� Facial Expression
� Obstructive Behavior
� Romance in the Workplace
EXCERPT FROM NATHANIEL WESLEY'S PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY AND GUIDE FOR THE HEALTH AND ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONS
Introduction to the ABC Model for Professional Development
For more than 35 years, I have provided educational instruction and practical advice in
professional development (PD) for students in the health professions. My approach, strategy,
philosophy and instructional methodology over those years have been rather traditionally based
on what curriculum content I thought to be important for student career growth and development.
Serving as internship and residency coordinator for a number of educational programs has enhanced
my insight and understanding regarding PD. I have been able to interact with hundreds of students
and preceptors. It is through this interaction with student preceptors, employment recruiters and
successful practitioners that I realized that the traditional PD model needed to be changed if
the 21st century student in health professions educational and training programs is going to meet
the personal and professional development challenges and expectations of their future.
Traditional professional development training emphasizes five primary areas: 1) resume preparation;
2) interviewing skills; 3) employment search; 4) dining etiquette, and 5) professional attire.
Although some attention has been paid to personal traits and organizational behavior issues, that
attention has been minimal. With the shift from �technical� competence to �behavioral� attributes
in the corporate-business world, professional development education and training has created more
of a balance between what is needed to identify career opportunities and the keys to successful
career planning, growth and advancement. Therefore, �soft skills� emerged and started to be
incorporated into course curricula and PD programs and activities in both management and health
professions educational programs. Almost all PD courses and programs provide education and training
components that combine personal development with professional development in a manner that
assures employers of getting a wellrounded graduate who brings a �value-added� dimension to the
So I created the ABC model for professional development. I realized that the 21st century student
may need more knowledge and information about personal development from a professional
development perspective than students in past years. A number of reasons may be suggested for
this �gap.� However, it presents an endless debate. The 21st century student in health professions
seems to be better prepared with technical skills and scholastic aptitude than with professional
and personal character traits. While my interaction has been primarily with students in health
management education programs and other allied health programs, my experience and expertise
extend to students in all health profession education programs. Regardless of the profession or
how intense PD courses are, there is a need for more professional development knowledge and
understanding of how important personal growth and development is to the acquisition,
development and enhancement of �soft skills� in the marketplace.
The ABC concept is based on five characteristics: 1) attitude, 2) behavior, 3) competence,
4) discipline, and 5) excellence. The majority of the terms and terminology in this publication
may be categorized into these five characteristics. One might consider these the personal
development components which are manifested through professional development traits and skills.
This model has served students well since it has become a �catch phrase� model that captures
the central principles and practices that employers seek in a potentially successful health
Here is a brief definition of the five PD characteristics:
A state of mind or feeling, manner of acting, a mental position with regard to a fact or state.
The manner in which one behaves. The action or reaction of persons or things in response to
external or internal stimuli. The way a person behaves toward other people.
The quality of being competent, possession of required skills, knowledge, qualification or
capacity, sufficiency of quantity, capable of performing an allotted function.
Training to act in accordance with rules and drill, behavior in accord with rules of conduct,
behavior, and order maintained by training and control, self control, to train by instruction or
The state, quality, or condition of excelling, superiority, an excellent quality of feature,
distinctive, meritorious, preeminence.
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