RESEARCH ARTICLE: An evaluation of self perceived professionalism among health professions’ students

Authors

  • Syed Imran Ahmed International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur
  • Lai Kai Lin International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur
  • Jenny Chong Siew Ing International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur
  • Syed Shahzad Hasan University of Huddersfield
  • Mudassir Anwar University of Otago
  • Muneer Gohar Babar International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur

Keywords:

Health Professions Education, Professionalism, Understanding, Perceptions

Abstract

The modern healthcare practice has made it imperative to involve patients at all levels of decision making; this shift has made professionalism as one of the core values to be inculcated in future healthcare professionals. Within the context, this study aimed to investigate ‘self-perceived professionalism’ among future health professionals. 

The study population comprised of students from four healthcare professional programmes, i.e. Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Nursing; at one of the pioneer private medical institutions in the country. The authors carried out a cross sectional study using a self-administered validated Professionalism Assessment tool, to assess thirteen attributes of professionalism on a five-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not important at all) to 5 (absolutely essential). Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data, using the SPSS version 22 with a p-value ≤ 0.05 as the level of significance.

A total of 856 students from a sample size of 1,050accepted (81.5%) and successfully completed the questionnaire. Among these, 278 (32.4%) medical, 171 (20.0%) dental, 183 (21.4%) nursing, and 224 (26.2%) were pharmacy students. Based on the total professionalism scores, nursing students were ranked highest, showing highest level of perceived professionalism (mean: 221.9, SD: 21.9). Among various professionalism attributes, confidentiality, competence, communication, and shared decision making were ranked most important attributes to be taught in the students’ curriculum.

Based on the findings, there were differences and gaps highlighted between various health professions’ students with regards to some essential attributes. This suggests that there is a need to address issues related to developing  professionalism during students’ training, and exposure to real life experiential learning could facilitate this process.

Author Biographies

Syed Imran Ahmed, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur

Senior Lecturer & Programme Director - Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy

Lai Kai Lin, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur

School of Pharmacy

Jenny Chong Siew Ing, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur

School of Pharmacy

Syed Shahzad Hasan, University of Huddersfield

School of Pharmacy 


Mudassir Anwar, University of Otago

School of Pharmacy

Muneer Gohar Babar, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur

School of Dentistry

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Published

04/12/2019

Issue

Section

Research Article