ABSTRACT: Making the professionalism curriculum for undergraduate medical education more relevant
Background: This study was an assessment of the professionalism curriculum at a community-based medical school from the perspective of undergraduate medical students. Aims: The goal of this study was to ascertain the perspectives of faculty and students on their interpretations of professionalism and its role in medical education to improve and expand existing professionalism curricula. Method: An online survey was created and sent to all students (n = 245) and selected faculty (n = 41). The survey utilized multiple choice and open-ended questions to allow responders to provide their insights on the definition of professionalism and detail how professionalism is taught and evaluated at their institution. A content analysis was conducted to categorize open-ended responses and the resulting themes were further examined using SPSS 20.0 for Windows (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY) frequency analyses. Results: Students and faculty respondents were similar in their definitions of medical professionalism and their perceptions of teaching methods. Role modeling was the most common and preferred method of professionalism education. Responses to whether evaluations of professional behavior were effective suggested both students and faculty are unclear about current professionalism assessments. Conclusion: This study showed that a cohesive standardized definition of professionalism is needed, as well as clearer guidelines on how professionalism is assessed.