Assessment of the concepts of medical professionalism among medical students

Jihad Abdelgadir Imam, Dalia Y. M. El Kheir


Background: The key values of professionalism continue to underpin the conduct of medical practitioners.
It is important to gather baseline information on professionalism awareness among undergraduates to
be able to guide any evaluation of the current professionalism curriculum along with its teaching and
assessment methodologies. Identifying the full range of possible sources of errors for the undergraduates
and their awareness of professionalism will create opportunities to address problems, improve the efficacy
and relevance of educational interventions, and promote a more effective working environment.
Objective: To generate an overview of the undergraduate medical students’ knowledge, attitude and
practice regarding professionalism.
Methods: Analytic cross sectional study in which a self-administered, semi-structured questionnaire
was distributed among undergraduate medical students of the University of Khartoum and Ribat National
University. The final analyses covered 504 students who were chosen randomly. Internal consistency of the
questionnaire was determined by employing Cronbach’salpha, which was found to be 0.798.
Results: The study showed that 30% of the students had high knowledge, 56% had fair knowledge and
14% had poor knowledge. Thirty four percent of the students were found to have good professional attitude,
57% had fair attitude and 9% had poor attitude towards the concept of medical professionalism and its
regulations. Twenty seven percent showed good practice of professionalism, i.e. professional behavior,
40% showed fair practice and 33% showed poor practice. There was a significant association between
knowledge/attitude and knowledge/practice. There was also a significant association between knowledge,
attitude and the academic level; both knowledge and attitude were found to improve with an increase in
academic level.
Conclusion: This study highlights that there is improvement in professionalism awareness corresponding
to increasing exposure to medical education. The findings suggest that teaching and assessment of
professionalism should be more targeted.


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