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Med Educ. 2003 Apr;37(4):341-9.

Fostering students' personal and professional development in medicine: a new framework for PPD.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney NSW, New South Wales, Australia.



Altruism, accountability, duty, integrity, respect for others and lifelong learning are qualities that have been identified as central to medical professionalism. However, we do not have a systematically developed understanding of what is needed to optimise medical students' personal and professional development (PPD). We need some level of agreement on how to teach and assess PPD, but traditional educational methods may not be strong determinants of students' or graduates' actual behaviour in clinical settings.


This paper considers the factors that demonstrably influence doctors' behaviour as a contribution to the development of a model for considering PPD within the broader context of medical practice. The model presented acknowledges that behaviour change comes about through a number of influences including education, feedback, rewards, penalties and participation. These elements can be plotted against the cognitive, affective and metacognitive processes that are intrinsic to learning.


A framework that promotes the consideration of all of these factors in PPD can provide guidance for schools undergoing curriculum reform and inform further research into one of the most important and challenging aspects of medical education.

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