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Neurol Clin Pract. 2016 Jun;6(3):230-240.

Speaking the same language: Cross-sectional assessment of perceived contributors to professionalism across generations.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology (RES, DS, RMES, TEC, CEG), Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD; and Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions (RT) and Department of Health, Behavior, and Society (RT), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Professionalism is integral to medical training and practice. Recent studies suggest generational differences in perceptions of professionalism, which have not been adequately explored in academic neurology.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was performed to describe perceptions of professionalism among representative physicians across the academic training spectrum of neurology. A self-report questionnaire adapted from a published instrument was distributed to students, residents, fellows, and faculty in neurology at a single institution. Responders rated 4 domains of professionalism: Personal Characteristics, Interactions with Patients, Social Responsibility, and Interactions with the Health Care Team (5-point Likert scale, not at all important to very important), and selected the "top 2" characteristics critical to professional behavior in each domain.

RESULTS:

A total of 296 of 312 (95%) responded, including 228 students, 24 residents, 19 fellows, and 25 faculty. Respondents ranked the following components to be important/very important contributors to the expression of professional behavior: Personal Characteristics (98%, mean rating 4.6 ± 0.3), Interactions with Patients (97%, 4.6 ± 0.4), and Interactions with the Health Care Team (96%, 4.6 ± 0.5). Although mean ratings were high for Social Responsibility (4.3 ± 0.6), only 82% indicated that this was important/very important in the expression of professionalism, with a gradual decline from students (4.4 ± 0.6) to residents (3.99 ± 0.8, p = 0.02). The "top 2" contributors to each domain were similar across responders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Professionalism was perceived as critically important across the academic training spectrum in neurology, and the view regarding the top contributors to the expression of professionalism remained consistent among the respondents.

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