Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/9470
Title: Assessing Students' Professionalism: Considering Professionalism's Diverging Definitions
Contributor(s): Aguilar, AE (author); Stupans, Ieva  (author); Scutter, Shiela (author)
Publication Date: 2011
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/9470
Abstract: Context: Although most health education programs assess students' professionalism, there is little clarity within the health education literature on the definition of professionalism. This makes assessment of students' professionalism a potentially flawed activity. This literature review clarifies professionalism by bringing together diverging definitions from across a number of health disciplines and discusses the complexities and limitations of these definitions. Methods: A search was conducted within the medical and health science education literature to identify articles that discussed professionalism and its assessment. Theoretical, qualitative and empirical research were included in the review. Findings: The literature variably defines professionalism as upholding professional values, as demonstrating professional attitudes or demonstrating professional behaviours. Each of these perspectives influences how professionalism is to be assessed, with each perspective having its own limitations. The behavioural perspective is simple to assess, but it has been criticised for being too superficial. The values perspective has the potential to develop professionals who are motivated by philanthropic values, but values can be difficult to identify and assess. Attitudes are complex in their structure, but they are less superficial than behaviours and can be assessed with attitudinal scales. Conclusion: Health professions educators should ideally assess all three perspectives of professionalism, however, this may not be realistic given the already laden curricula and the demands on educators. Educators may decide to only assess one perspective and given its advantages, the attitudes perspective may be a useful starting point.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Education for Health, 24(3), p. 1-10
Publisher: The Network: Towards Unity for Health
Place of Publication: Online
Field of Research (FOR): 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Other Links: http://www.educationforhealth.net/articles/showarticlenew.asp?ArticleID=599
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
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