Students views on being a 'good' doctor versus a 'professional' doctor

May 14, 2014 by David Stacey, University of Western Australia
Students views on being a 'good' doctor versus a 'professional' doctor

(Medical Xpress)—In light of previous research which found that medical students valued compassion, patient-centred care and communication skills over clinical competence and knowledge, new research has sought to further explore medical students' views on professionalism.

Forty-nine took part in 13 focus groups conducted by researchers from The University of Western Australia based at the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia and the School of Medicine and Pharmacology.

Differences between students' understandings of the 'good' and 'professional' doctor were observed. Being competent, a good communicator and a good teacher were the main characteristics of the 'good' doctor. Professionalism was strongly associated with the adoption of a professional persona; following a code of practice and professional guidelines, and treating others with respect were also associated with the 'professional' doctor.

Lead author Dr Beatriz Cuesta-Briand said the results published in BMC Medical Education suggest students felt more connected to the notion of the 'good' doctor and perceived as an external and imposed ideal.

"When both constructs were seen as acting in opposition, students tended to forgo professionalism in favour of becoming a 'good' doctor," Dr Cuesta-Briand said. "There were areas of overlap however and students clearly honoured elements that are core to professionalism. These areas of overlap should be a starting point upon which medical educators can build on discussion about professionalism."

Data for the qualitative study was collected through focus groups conducted with students who were in the clinical years (fourth to sixth year) of The University of Western Australia (UWA) MBBS program.

In fourth year, professionalism is taught through a series of lectures and face-to-face meetings with a Personal and Professional Development (PPD) mentor; in fifth year, the PPD program runs throughout the year and is formally assessed through reflective portfolio tasks, whilst in sixth year, professionalism is assessed through a case-based ethics essay.

Explore further: Social media can professionally benefit pediatric clinicians

Related Stories

Social media can professionally benefit pediatric clinicians

October 26, 2013
(HealthDay)—There are increasing opportunities for social media to enhance the personal and professional lives of pediatric clinicians, but professionalism online needs to be modeled and taught, according to an article ...

Patient care suffering because of senior practitioners' professionalism lapses

July 1, 2013
The professionalism lapses of a minority of senior healthcare practitioners, charged with teaching healthcare students across the NHS, are contributing to a decline in patient care and dignity. This is the finding of an eight-year ...

Caution advised when considering patient and colleague feedback on doctors

October 28, 2011
Official assessments of a doctor's professionalism should be considered carefully before being accepted due to the tendency for some doctors to receive lower scores than others, and the tendency of some groups of patient ...

Instituting a culture of professionalism

March 27, 2014
There is a growing recognition that in health care institutions where professionalism is not embraced and expectations of acceptable behaviors are not clear and enforced, an increase in medical errors and adverse events and ...

Physicians should consider social media as public space

August 14, 2013
(HealthDay)—A new approach is needed for resolving the physician online identity crisis, according to a viewpoint piece published in the Aug. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.