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J Family Med Prim Care. 2016 Jan-Mar;5(1):56-60. doi: 10.4103/2249-4863.184624.

Physicians' professionalism at primary care facilities from patients' perspective: The importance of doctors' communication skills.

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Department of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, Lampung University, Lampung, Indonesia.
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Department of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.



Professionalism is the core duty of a doctor to be responsible to the society. Doctors' professionalism depicts an internalization of values and mastery of professionals' standards as an important part in shaping the trust between doctors and patients. Professionalism consists of various attributes in which current literature focused more on the perspective of the health professionals. Doctors' professionalism may influence patients' satisfaction, and therefore, it is important to know from the patients' perspectives what was expected of medical doctors' professionalism.


This study was conducted to determine the attributes of physician professionalism from the patient's perspective.


This was a qualitative research using a phenomenology study design. In-depth interviews were conducted with 18 patients with hypertension and diabetes who had been treated for at least 1 year in primary care facilities in the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The results of the interview were transcribed, encoded, and then classified into categories.


Communication skills were considered as the top priority of medical doctors' attributes of professionalism in the perspectives of the patients.


This study revealed that communication skill is the most important aspects of professionalism which greatly affected in the process of health care provided by the primary care doctors. Doctor-patient communication skills should be intensively trained during both basic and postgraduate medical education.


Communication skills; primary care; professionalism

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