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Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2017 May-Jun;55(3):400-408.

[Epistemic injustice during the medical education process in the hospital context].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

Author information

Coordinación de Educación en Salud, Unidad de Educación, Investigación y Políticas de Salud, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Ciudad de México.


in English, Spanish


The educational model adopted by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) Faculty of Medicine is constructivist; it is a model based on competence development. It aims to provide learning environments that incorporate real activities (it helps the students to develop social negotiation skills, as part of their integral learning; it encourages them to take a critical and reflexive approach; and it is also a student-centered model). However, many challenges arise when this model is implemented in the context of hospital environments. Therefore, our aim was to analyse the hospital as an hermeneutical community and as a power relations scenario, contrary to the constructivist model.


In the analysis of a conflict between a chief of a medical department and an undergraduated medical intern, we use Miranda Fricker's categories discriminatory epistemic injustice, and testimonial injustice, as well as Foucault's power relationships and knowledge.


The program implementation is placed in the context of power relations and different disciplinary methods that could affect the training process of the students, whose educational background belongs to the constructivist model. This in part is due to the existence of informal normative structures that are hidden in the process of medical knowledge construction at the hospital scenario.


Practices of epistemic discriminatory injustice in the hospital environment increase vulnerability conditions for medical students in their education process.


Ethics; Hermeneutics; Medical education; Power

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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