Kern National Network | LearnersAt the core of the Kern National Network for Caring and Character in Medicine's (KNN) work is its commitment to learners, the medical students, health professions students and residents who are the future of our health ecosystem. By introducing all of their learners to the fundamental importance of caring and character, the KNN medical schools hope to influence the way health care is delivered and the way it is experienced by those we serve.

The KNN recognizes that character and caring are developed over a lifetime. Through its work, the KNN is identifying strategies, practices and tools to aid learners on this journey, from the earliest stages of their education and training throughout their careers as practicing care providers.

Selected learner-focused initiatives include:

  • Engaging students in KNN programs and activities, such as a special session on design thinking in medicine.
  • A KNN student-organized conference focused on character and caring.
  • Creating opportunities for students to connect across the network and share knowledge and experiences.
  • Developing and implementing strategies to enhance the clinical learning environment, in order to promote optimal learning experiences, support learner wellness and reduce burnout.
  • Providing opportunities for students to reflect on and discuss the importance of character and caring in medicine and the barriers they might encounter in their development as flourishing physicians.
  • Exploring innovations in holistic medical school admissions processes.


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