This week I attended an all day “training” session in a new medical record system. I thought it was interesting that the experience was called “training,” which prompted me to remind myself of a few useful definitions.
Education, from the Latin root meaning a drawing forth, implies not so much the communication of knowledge as the discipline of the intellect; an intra-cerebral process aimed in large part at creating principles upon which new knowledge may be elaborated. Instruction is that part of education that furnishes the mind with knowledge. Teaching is often applied to practice as in “teaching a dog to do tricks.”
Training is an element of education in which the chief characteristic is exercise or practice for the purpose of imparting facility, as in “training for the marathon.” Breeding relates to manners and outward conduct as in “standing when elders enter a room is a sign of good breeding.” Regimentation is the prescription of a particular way of life or thinking usually involving the imposition of discipline. The term, arising from military regiment, is related to the medical usage of regimen, as in “the patient keeps his prescription medications in separate compartments of a plastic container in order to accurately adhere to his regimen.” Propaganda is the systematic propagation of a doctrine, cause or information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause, as in “ACCME is propagating the view that elaborate re-certification maneuvers will improve the lives of patients.”
A cheerful instructor started the session by asking each of us to introduce ourselves and reveal a “secret guilty pleasure.” Mine is to create elaborate cocktails. If only I had had one of my famous Marty’s Beerjitos with me the whole experience could have been much more pleasant. In addition to the instructor, there were several “super-users” in the room to facilitate the process. It was immediately obvious to me that the super-users hovered behind my chair. These friendly young people had correctly identified me a “super-loser.” Had I been litigious I would have reported the experience to our ombudsperson as blatant ageism.
But, alas, they were correct. I was hopeless. Besides, I don’t believe in ombudspeople. I believe one should speak for oneself.