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December 8, 2015

The Pedagogy of Pimping: Educational Rigor or Mistreatment?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Office of Student Affairs, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2015;314(22):2355-2356. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.14670

Pimping has a bad name. In medical education, the term is saddled with negative and malicious connotations, regardless of the intended meaning. Derived from the German Pümpfrage, it has nothing to do with finding customers for prostitutes but instead refers to the practice of a teacher asking a student a series of questions. The relation of medical pimping to the broader question of student mistreatment suggests that this association of homonyms, while unfortunate, is not purely coincidental.

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