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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-25

Faculty perception of teaching professionalism in a developing medical college

1 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Tabuk University, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication17-Jul-2017

Correspondence Address:
Sami Abdul Rahman Al Kindy
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0521.210819

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Objective: The aim of the study is to assess the perception of teaching professionalism (TP) in a developing medical college. We hypothesize there is a correlative perceptual relation between TP and faculty observation of professionalism among medical undergraduates. Methods and Design: Faculty members of the College of Medicine, Taif University, Saudi Arabia, were surveyed to assess the perception of TP. The survey was circulated and collected manually. It was conducted between July and November 2015. Chi-square test was used to analyze the obtained data employing the SSPS 22 program. Results: A total of 65 faculty members (36 males and 29 females) responded to the survey, of whom 40% were involved in TP, 30.8% did not agree to the validity and reliability of assessment tools, and 60% thought their students had a “good” professional conduct and final year students were observed to be more disciplined and showed professionalism. In spite of the discrepancy and inconsistency of TP, there was a good faculty perception of professionalism in undergraduates medical students (χ2 [24] = 21.8, P > 0.6). Conclusion: Faculty teaching and assessing methods of professionalism were variable and inconsistent; nevertheless, there was an acceptable level of perception among faculty members. Student's professionalism assessment is difficult and remains to be a challenge. Continuous and rigorous faculty development program of TP in emerging medical colleges is suggested.

Keywords: Education, medical professional, teaching and assessment methods

How to cite this article:
Al Kindy SA, Al Kindy T. Faculty perception of teaching professionalism in a developing medical college. Saudi J Health Sci 2017;6:23-5

How to cite this URL:
Al Kindy SA, Al Kindy T. Faculty perception of teaching professionalism in a developing medical college. Saudi J Health Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Jul 16];6:23-5. Available from: http://www.saudijhealthsci.org/text.asp?2017/6/1/23/210819

  Introduction Top

Medical professionalism is a set of values and conduct aimed to serve the best interest of patients and society before one's own.[1]

Interest in teaching professionalism (TP) started to emerge around 20 years ago, nevertheless, teaching and assessment methods [2] remain to be difficult, variable with no consensus either to the applied or hidden curriculum, and its integration is a continuous challenge to educators.[3] To meet the criteria of validity, reliability, feasibility, and acceptability, a battery of tools that were developed; including mini-clinical evaluation exercise, standardized direct observation of procedural skills, professionalism mini-evaluation exercise, multi-source feedback and 360° evaluation, and case-based discussions. Although none can be used as a single perfect tool,[3] critical self-reflection remains a common assessing tool.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]

TP and assessing methods are evolving, innovated and tailored in the frame of the culture [7] and resources.

The Saudi Med frame, has been created to foresee competence of medical education, aligned with the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA), to ensure quality and competency of postsecondary education, created six competencies in phases among which is professionalism education.[8]

There is no consensus on how to assess professionalism in medical undergraduates, however, a criteria was suggested to observe the following: adherence to ethical practice, interaction with patients and with health professionals, competent commitment, and reliability,[9] nevertheless, subjectivity was always a threat to its validity, this, however, may be reduced by a connoisseur and further minimized using Professionalism Mini-Examination, an observation scoring pad.[10]

Faculty perception and reflection can be a tool as well, to assess education process in undergraduate medical students; however, validity and reliability remain to be a challenge. We hypothesize faculty perception is compatible and has a good correlation with TP in a developing medical college. According to our knowledge, there is no similar study in English literature.

  Methods and Design Top

A survey had been circulated and collected manually to faculty members of the College of Medicine, Taif University, Saudi Arabia to critically reflect their perception of TP, in the context of teaching, validity and reliability of assessment methods, and a final overall grading of medical students professionalism. There were no inclusion or exclusion criteria. The study was conducted between July and November 2015. It is a qualitative and cross-sectional study; the obtained data were analyzed using the Chi-square test employing the SPSS version 22 (IBM Corporation, Armonk, New-York, USA) computer program for statistical analysis.

  Results Top

A total of 65 faculty members (36 males and 29 females) responded to the survey, of whom (40%) were involved in TP, that included lectures (23.1%), mentoring (4.6%), small group discussion (4.6%) as a single method, and (13.8%) in a combination, the remaining respondents (60%) were not involved in the process of TP or showed no response. Assessment tools used were feedback (7.7%), self-assessment (1.5%), observation (6.2%), examinations (32.3%) as single tool, and {24.6%} used the tools in combination, while (26.2%) of faculty had no response or were not involved. Assessment tools used were thought to be invalid and unreliable by (35.4%), whereas (30.8%) noted otherwise, (30.4%) did not know, and (3.1%) not responded. The overall students grading of professionalism conduct observed by faculty was “unsatisfactory” (4.6%), “satisfactory” (10.8%) “good” (60%), “very good” (12.3%), and (12.3%) did not grade [Figure 1]. Sixth year students were rated to be the most disciplined (44%), followed by the first year students (33%).
Figure 1: Teaching professionalism and student gradings

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In spite of the discrepancy and inconsistency of TP, there was a good faculty perception of professionalism in undergraduates medical students (χ2 {24} = 21.8, P > 0.6).

  Discussion Top

To meet the ever increasing demand for medical graduates in Saudi Arabia, a decision was taken to establish more than twenty new medical colleges all over the kingdom, in recent years.[11] This, however, was met with a challenge of recruiting competent staff with adequate academic backgrounds. College of Medicine in Taif was no exception. This is clearly reflected by faculty's limited contribution, and unfavorable appraisal of TP, where mentorship is <20% and 32.3% used a single mode of teaching in comparison to 13.8% who used a combination, whereas, more 53% were not instrumental in any part of the process. Furthermore, one-third used a single assessing tool, in comparison to 25% who used a combination, thus decreasing the reliability and validity of TP in all aspects.

The inconsistency mentioned above, is in contrast to student professionalism grading, where 10.8%, 60%, 12.3% were satisfactory, good, and very good, respectively.

The later perceptual contrast may be explained by either one or all of the following; faculty sympathy with students, assessment tool not observed or lack of professionalism concept, others include assessor's bond with student or his/lack of confidence. Whatsoever are the reasons, this incompatibility amongst faculty, should not be taken as an isolated defect per se, other factors needs to be considered and looked into, including curriculum specification, integration, and implementation.

We feel in theory, other emerging medical colleges may have similar results; a pilot study is recommended to further evaluate education processes, albeit, not limited to TP. Progress test, a tool to evaluate education process, introduced in 1991, at McMaster University,[12] and initiated by Qasim Medical College, Saudi Arabia, was meant to monitor acquired knowledge, rate retaining levels, and compare peers of other colleges.[13] In spite of the importance, of this monitoring tool, it is limited to the cognitive part only.

Limitations of our study included subjectivity of grading, where there were no clear criteria or checklist, and the absence of a clear description and specifications of the institute curriculum, though the latter is regarded to be an integrated type.

The former can be improved by suggesting external expert assessor with clear criteria for observing students. Further studies with the inclusion of other developing medical colleges for comparative purposes are suggested.

  Summary Top

Perception of faculty was compatible with TP in undergraduate medical students, in spite of the inconsistency in teaching and assessment methods, thus reflecting difficulties arising in the validity of assessing processes. Continuous and rigorous faculty developing programs is suggested.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Diaz JA, Stamp MJ. Primer on medical professionalism. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 2004;94:206-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Hodges D, McLachlan JC, Finn GM. Exploring reflective 'critical incident' documentation of professionalism lapses in a medical undergraduate setting. BMC Med Educ 2009;9:44.  Back to cited text no. 2
O'Sullivan H, van Mook W, Fewtrell R, Wass V. Integrating professionalism into the curriculum. Med Teach 2012;34:155-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Guraya SY, Guraya SS, Mahabbat NA, Fallatah KY, Al-Ahmadi BA, Alalawi HH. The desired concept maps and goal setting for assessing professionalism in medicine. J Clin Diagn Res 2016;10:JE01-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
Howe A, Barrett A, Leinster S. How medical students demonstrate their professionalism when reflecting on experience. Med Educ 2009;43:942-51.  Back to cited text no. 5
Wasson K, Bading E, Hardt J, Hatchett L, Kuczewski MG, McCarthy M, et al. Physician, know thyself: The role of reflection in bioethics and professionalism education. Narrat Inq Bioeth 2015;5:77-86.  Back to cited text no. 6
Wittich CM, Pawlina W, Drake RL, Szostek JH, Reed DA, Lachman N, et al. Validation of a method for measuring medical students' critical reflections on professionalism in gross anatomy. Anat Sci Educ 2013;6:232-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
Tekian AS, Al Ahwal MS. Aligning the SaudiMED framework with the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment domains. Saudi Med J 2015;36:1496-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
Wilkinson TJ, Wade WB, Knock LD. A blueprint to assess professionalism: Results of a systematic review. Acad Med 2009;84:551-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
Cruess R, McIlroy JH, Cruess S, Ginsburg S, Steinert Y. The professionalism mini-evaluation exercise: A preliminary investigation. Acad Med 2006;81 10 Suppl: S74-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
Bin Abdulrahman KA, Saleh F. Steps towards establishing a new medical college in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An insight into medical education in the Kingdom. BMC Med Educ 2015;15:85.  Back to cited text no. 11
Blake JM, Norman GR, Keane DR, Mueller CB, Cunnington J, Didyk N. Introducing progress testing in McMaster University's problem-based medical curriculum: Psychometric properties and effect on learning. Acad Med 1996;71:1002-7.  Back to cited text no. 12
Soliman MM, Al-Shaikh GK, Alnassar SA. Use of cross-institutional progress test as a predictor of performance in a new medical college. Adv Med Educ Pract 2016;7:197-200.  Back to cited text no. 13


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