Professing professionalism: are we our own worst enemy? Faculty members’ experiences of teaching and evaluating professionalism in medical education at one school
Focus group (n=14) to explore clinical faculty members’ knowledge and attitudes regarding their teaching and evaluation of professionalism. All faculty expressed that teaching and evaluating professionalism posed a challenge for them. They identified their own lapses in professionalism and their sense of powerlessness and failure to address these with one another as the single greatest barrier to teaching professionalism, given a perceived dominance of role modeling as a teaching tool. Faculty expressed themselves as thirsty for an approach to defining professionalism that encompasses its nonstatic nature. That approach should acknowledge the conflicts that can emerge between what individual patients want from a physician and what “society” wants. Also acknowledge the conflicts that can occur between definitions from different groups of physicians based on their specific relationship networks and their clinical and financial contexts. Institutional failures both to recognize exemplary professionalism and to confront unprofessional behaviors were consistently seen as undermining faculty efforts.
Peer Reviewed Research
Curriculum & Medical Teaching