Professionalism in Medical Education: the Development and Validation of a Survey Instrument to Assess Attitudes toward Professionalism

George Blackall, Steven Melnick, Glenda Shoop, John George, Susan Lerner, Philip Wilson, Richard Pees, Margaret Kreher
Submitted: March, 2007

This paper will describe the development and factorial validity of an instrument to measure attitudes toward professionalism in medical education among students, residents and faculty. A factor analysis of the intercorrelations of responses to 36 items reflecting the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) elements of professionalism for a sample of 765 medical students, residents and faculty was carried out in Spring 2004 at Penn State College of Medicine. Main outcome measures include internal consistency reliability estimates (Cronbach’s alpha) for each element of professionalism and a principal components analysis of the intercorrelations of responses to the 36 items in the questionnaire. Analysis of responses reveals seven identifiable factors of professionalism: accountability, altruism, duty, enrichment, equity, honor and integrity, and respect. The Penn State College of Medicine Professionalism Questionnaire is one of the first valid and reliable surveys of attitudes among medical students, residents, and faculty that reflects seven elements of professionalism.

  • Definitions & Frameworks
  • Tools & Instruments