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Impact of the hidden curriculum on the British Army Medical Services
  1. Aimee Marie Charnell1,2,
  2. C H Tang1 and
  3. B Akinlade1
  1. 1212 Field Hospital, British Army, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Leeds Institute of Medical Education, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Maj Aimee Marie Charnell, 212 Field Hospital, British Army, Sheffield, UK; aimee.charnell{at}

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The standard you walk past is the one you accept. Experienced military service personnel (SP) will understand that this phrase demonstrates expectations which are rarely formally taught, yet vital. The process of acquiring this essential working knowledge, often taken for granted instead of being instructed or taught, is termed the ‘hidden curriculum’. Within medical education, the hidden curriculum has been described to include inferred cultures, professional attitudes, behaviours and values.1

The hidden curriculum can be positive or negative, often in combination. Our military uniform visibly reflects our culture, and our uniforms’ tribal markings allow us to find our own in any setting. Yet, visible ranks may stress a prominent hierarchy, leaving some individuals disempowered. …

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  • Contributors AMC developed the concept using subject-matter expertise. AMC, CHT and BA drafted the manuscript. AMC, CHT and BA edited the final manuscript. The article was reviewed by the commanding officer before submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.