Residents’ Perceptions of Their Own Professionalism and the Professionalism of Their Learning Environment

Colleen Gillespie, Steve Paik, Tavinder Ark, Sondra Zabar, Adina Kalet
Submitted: December, 2009

Residency programs are struggling to integrate and effectively assess professionalism. We report results from a survey assessing residents’ perceptions of their professional competence and the professionalism of their learning environment. Residents rated their ability to perform the behaviors and reported the frequency with which they observed their fellow residents failing to perform the behaviors. Eighty-five senior residents in emergency medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery specialties completed the survey (response rate = 77%). Residents reported feeling most competent in being accountable (mean score = 51.4%; F = 10.3, p<.001) and in demonstrating respect. Some residents reported having trouble being sensitive to patients (n = 5 to 23). Disrespectful behaviors were the most frequently witnessed professionalism lapse in the learning environment (mean = 41.1%; F = 8.1, p<.001). While serious lapses in professionalism were not witnessed with great frequency in the learning environment, instances of over-representing qualifications were reported.

  • Medical Teaching