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Clin Ter. 2012 Nov;163(6):e377-86.

[The concept of medical professionalism of medical students: basic assessment for a cohort study].

[Article in Italian]

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Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche, Facoltà di Medicina ed Odontoiatria. Università Sapienza di Roma, Italia.



Education for professionalism is an international challenge. This paper reports the results of the assessment performed on two cohorts of first year students of Medicine, relating to attitudes toward three basic components of the construct of professionalism such as sensitivity to sociocultural differences, empathetic behaviors and professional skills in relationship to self, colleagues, patients and society. These components are analyzed with respect to their importance in the process of healthcare.


The assessment of the three components was performed through the validated Italian versions of three instruments: the Socio-Cultural Attitudes in Medicine Inventory, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy and the Nijmegen Professionalism Scale, administered for two consecutive years to all the students of the C curriculum in Medicine of Sapienza University of Rome (Italy).


On a total of 196 students, the responses showed no significant differences related to gender or type of high school for the three examined components. A trend is present toward a familiar influence when one of the parents is a doctor and an idea of professionalism more technical-oriented than addressed to communication and empathy.


The follow up study of these cohorts of students will provide important information for further educational design.

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