Personal factors affecting medical professionalism: a qualitative study in Iran
Professional behavior with patients and interactions with colleagues, the institution and professional bodies are influenced by many factors. The purpose of this manuscript is to clarify those personal factors affecting medical professionalism in clinical settings affiliated with Tehran University of Medical Sciences. For this purpose, a qualitative study was carried out. One hundred and eighty-two participants were recruited through purposive sampling of clinical staff, physicians, and medical students in Tehran. Data were collected through 22 focus group discussions, and conventional content analysis was used to analyze the data. The results were reported in five categories to present the participants’ views. Categories were extracted from 103 codes and consisted of 1) people’s belief in professionalism, 2) personality traits, 3) problems in family, 4) mental or physical health status, and 5) communication skills. The results showed that despite the facilitator roles of some personal factors, others act as barriers to professional behaviors. In order to control their impact, it is crucial to pay attention to them at the time of student/staff selection. Strengthening support systems in the organization is also essential for decreasing the effect of family problems or physical and mental health problems.