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GMS J Med Educ. 2017 Oct 16;34(4):Doc43. doi: 10.3205/zma001120. eCollection 2017.

Medical doctors' job specification analysis: A qualitative inquiry.

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Universität Münster, Medizinische Fakultät, Institut für Ausbildung und Studienangelegenheiten (IfAS), Münster, Germany.
Universität Münster, Institut für Psychologie, Lehrstuhl für Organisations- und Wirtschaftspsychologie, Münster, Germany.


in English, German

Purpose: A qualitative inquiry was conducted to investigate the qualification requirements of medical doctors in different professional fields and from different perspectives. The inquiry was part of an empirical workplace analysis. Methods: Seventy-four structured interviews were conducted and analyzed to examine critical incidents and behaviors of medical doctors working in different professional fields (clinical theory, clinical practice, practitioner) and disciplines, and from three different perspectives (medical doctors, non-medical staff, and patients). In addition, the National Competency-based Catalogue of Learning Objectives for Medical Education (Nationaler Kompetenzbasierter Lernzielkatalog Medizin / NKLM) was used. Results: The results revealed eleven relevant competencies, which could be categorized into three superordinate competence clusters: interpersonal, work-related, and self-related. The perspectives of medical doctors and non-medical staff included all eleven competencies. However, the perspective of patients did not include one interpersonal and two self-related competencies. Nearly all of the critical behaviors mentioned are included in the NKLM. However, the NKLM also includes behaviors that were not mentioned in the interviews. Conclusions: The behavior-oriented interviews resulted in a requirement profile that is very similar in structure to other competency models in occupational contexts. Comparisons of the different perspectives predominantly revealed similarities. However, the patient perspective also revealed interesting differences compared to the perspectives of medical doctors and non-medical staff. The behavior-related results of the interviews can be directly used for the development of exercises in selection and personnel development contexts and for potential appraisals specific to different medical disciplines. In future steps, the results of this initial qualitative step are to be replicated and extended using quantitative studies and a representative sample. The main overall objective is the definition of relevant competencies both for the selection and development of medical students and for the design of potential appraisals as part of personnel development programs in different medical disciplines.


competence development; medical competencies; medical education; medical student selection; potential appraisals; qualitative workplace requirements analysis

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