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Keywords:

  • education;
  • medical;
  • culture;
  • professional role;
  • students;
  • medical;
  • relationship-centered care

Relationship-Centered Care acknowledges the central importance of relationships in medical care. In a similar fashion, relationships hold a central position in medical education, and are critical for achieving favorable learning outcomes. However, there is little empirical work in the medical literature that explores the development and meaning of relationships in medical education. In this essay, we explore the growing body of work on the culture of medical school, often termed the “hidden curriculum.” We suggest that relationships are a critical mediating factor in the hidden curriculum. We explore evidence from the educational literature with respect to the student-teacher relationship, and the relevance that these studies hold for medical education. We conclude with suggestions for future research on student-teacher relationships in medical education settings.