We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

'You’re judged all the time!' Students’ views on professionalism: a multicentre study.

Finn, Gabrielle Maria and Garner, Jayne and Sawdon, Marina (2010) ''You’re judged all the time!' Students’ views on professionalism: a multicentre study.', Medical Education., 44 (8). pp. 814-825.


Context This study describes how medical students perceive professionalism and the context in which it is relevant to them. An understanding of how Phase 1 students perceive professionalism, will help us teach this subject more effectively. Phase 1 medical students are those in the first two years of their five year medical degree. Methods Seventy-two undergraduate students from 2 UK Medical Schools participated in thirteen semi-structured focus groups. Focus groups, carried out until thematic saturation occurred, were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed and coded using NVivo 8, using a grounded theory approach with constant comparison. Results From the analysis, seven themes regarding professionalism emerged: the context of professionalism, role modelling, scrutiny of behaviour, professional identity, ‘switching on’ professionalism, leniency (for students with regards to professional standards), and sacrifice (of freedom as an individual). Students regarded professionalism as being relevant in 3 contexts; the clinical, the university and the virtual. Students called for leniency during their undergraduate course, opposing the guidance from Good Medical Practice. Unique findings were the impact of clothing and Facebook on professional behaviour and identity. Clothing was described as a mechanism by which students ‘switch on’ their professional identity. Students perceived society to be struggling with the distinction between doctors as individuals and professionals. This extended to the students’ online identities on Facebook. Institutions’ expectations of high standards of professionalism were associated with a feeling of sacrifice by students due to constantly ‘being watched’, this perception was coupled with resentment of this intrusion. Students described the significant impact that role modelling had on their professional attitudes. Conclusions This research offers valuable insight into how Phase 1 medical students construct their personal and professional identities, in both the offline and online environment. Acknowledging these learning mechanisms will enhance the development of a genuinely student-focused professionalism curriculum. Keywords: professionalism, social networking, medical education, undergraduate

Item Type:Article
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:
Record Created:20 Apr 2010 13:50
Last Modified:23 Nov 2010 12:29

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitterExport: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex
Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library