Posted in Medical Student, Professionalism

What Influences Medical Students’ Perceptions Of Professionalism?

Thanks to all who contributed to yesterday’s discussion on how the public perceive doctors sharing their stories online. Please keep the discussion going!

Today, my attention was taken by an abstract I discovered in PubMed, which I feel is pertinent to the current discussion on medical professionalism online.

Wanted: role models–medical students’ perceptions of professionalism.Byszewski A, Hendelman W, McGuinty C, Moineau G.

Transformation of medical students to become medical professionals is a core competency required for physicians in the 21st century. Role modeling was traditionally the key method of transmitting this skill. Medical schools are developing medical curricula which are explicit in ensuring students develop the professional competency and understand the values and attributes of this role. The purpose of this study was to determine student perception of professionalism at the University of Ottawa and gain insights for improvement in promotion of professionalism in undergraduate medical education.

The results of the study revealed that “students identified role modeling as the single most important aspect of professionalism” and while this study relates to professional competency in curricular development, I think it also has relevance for the medical students who are going online. So, who can we point them to as role models? I have some suggestions in mind, but I would love to hear who you think is a great online role model for the next generation of doctors and why.