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VIEWPOINT
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 104-105  

Structured framework for teaching professionalism to medical students


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission01-Nov-2019
Date of Decision14-Dec-2019
Date of Acceptance03-Jan-2020
Date of Web Publication28-Feb-2020

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_299_19

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  Abstract 


Professionalism among medical students has been identified as one of the core competencies expected of a medical graduate. Acknowledging the need to teach professionalism, the formulation of a formal curriculum is a must. The drafted curriculum should extend across all the professional year, including internship and should specify the topics to be covered in each professional year, hours of teaching, teaching-learning method and the preferable mode of assessment. However, considering the basic fact that professionalism is more of an attitudinal change, it is vital to accept that formal curriculum will provide a structural framework, but for the better outcomes, it has to be supported by informal teaching. In conclusion, professionalism is an integral component in the development of a medical practitioner and the need of the hour is to resort to a combined formal-informal mode of teaching so that medical students are benefitted in the long run.

Keywords: Curriculum, medical students, professionalism


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Structured framework for teaching professionalism to medical students. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2020;13:104-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Structured framework for teaching professionalism to medical students. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 8];13:104-5. Available from: http://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2020/13/2/104/279631




  Introduction Top


Professionalism among medical students has been identified as one of the core competencies expected of a medical graduate across most of the existing graduate medical regulations.[1],[2] This is primarily because of the existence of widespread unprofessional practices among both medical students and healthcare practitioners and also due to the lack of a formal curriculum to teach professionalism within the period of the medical course. The unprofessional behavior of medical professionals has significantly influenced the delivery of health care and more often than not patients have been exposed to disrespectful behavior, which is an alarming cause of concern.[1]

Existing gaps in teaching professionalism

Acknowledging the magnitude of the problem and the immense need to address the same on a priority basis, the formulation of a formal curriculum to teach medical professionalism is a must.[2],[3] In the absence of the same, teaching professionalism has been left only to the role modeling, wherein predominantly the medical students learn from the behaviors of their teachers during patient interaction.[2],[3],[4] However, this form of learning is insufficient, intangible, and cannot be assessed and thus defeats the basic purpose of teaching. Thus, there is an immense need to draft a holistic curriculum, which has teaches professionalism, not as a onetime measure, but which is spread across all the professional year, including internship.[3],[4]

Framework for teaching professionalism

The drafted curriculum has to be a structured one and should specify the topics to be covered in each professional year, hours of teaching, teaching–learning method, and the preferable mode of assessment.[2],[3] It is important to understand that the mere creation of a formal curriculum will not deliver results unless it is implemented effectively and that essentially requires sensitization of the medical teachers and a team effort.[5] However, considering the basic fact that professionalism is more of an attitudinal change, it is vital to accept that formal curriculum will provide a structural framework, but for the better outcomes, it has to be supported by informal teaching or in other words, it has to be a part of the hidden curriculum.[1],[2],[3],[4] Furthermore, conducting oneself effectively with patients requires development of communication skills, listening abilities, and empathy and the best way to learn them will be through informal mode of teaching.[2],[4],[5]

Teaching-learning methods

In general, professionalism can be taught with the help of a wide range of methods such as case vignettes, role plays, group discussions, meaningful videos, reflective writing, role modeling, and listening the experiences and perspectives of real patients.[3] The purpose of each of these sessions can be specified like professional approach of a doctor (viz., not using mobile phone), establishing communication with patients, management of conflicts, zero tolerance toward disrespectful behaviors, and creation of a positive environment in the workplace.[3],[4] In addition, even a social activist can be invited as a resource person to enlighten students about the expectations of the community from the medical fraternity.

Furthermore, the students can be mentored by the teachers to deal with their challenges and make them understand the significance of code of conduct, dos and don'ts, rights of patients, and responsibilities of doctors. In the process of teaching professionalism, it has to be done keeping in mind the cultural context and learning opportunities are given based on the stage of learners.[1],[2],[3] The professionalism domain needs to be assessed and employment of multisource feedback, feedback on recorded patient interactions, reflections, etc., has to be done on a periodic basis.[1],[2] Finally, the overall and sustainable success of the teaching will be essentially determined by the institutional support and evaluation of the outcome and development of remediation plan.[3]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, professionalism is an integral component in the development of a medical practitioner and the need of the hour is to resort to a combined formal–informal mode of teaching so that medical students are benefitted in the long run.



 
  References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Medical professionalism in India: Present and Future. Int J Acad Med 2018;4:306-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Riley S, Kumar N. Teaching medical professionalism. Clin Med (Lond) 2012;12:9-11.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Al-Eraky MM. Twelve Tips for teaching medical professionalism at all levels of medical education. Med Teach 2015;37:1018-25.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Teaching professionalism and leadership skills to an Indian Medical Graduate. CHRISMED J Health Res 2019;6:112-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
Al-Eraky MM, Donkers J, Wajid G, Van Merrienboer JJ. Faculty development for learning and teaching of medical professionalism. Med Teach 2015;37 Suppl 1:S40-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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