Community expectations about the attributes of a professional doctor

Farooq Ahmed, Usman Mahboob


Background: The training in professionalism is an integral part of the curriculum in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. However, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC) has not explicitly implemented it in the undergraduate medical training.

Aim: The aim of this study is to explore community expectations about the attributes of medical doctors.

Methodology: This is a qualitative, ethnographic research involving 40 participants from two districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, who underwent four focus group interviews. The data recovered was transcribed, and 22 codes were identified. The codes were collected under 16 categories that were finally organized under five themes named, knowledge, psychomotor skills, attitudes, professionalism, and ethics.

Results: Most of the study participants emphasized on the development of appropriate attitudes, professionalism, and ethics. It was found that no time was allocated to the formal and explicit teaching and assessment of professionalism, development of attitudes or ethical values in PM&DC syllabus.

Conclusion: The study concluded that our local community emphasizes more on the importance of attitudes and professionalism as compared to the knowledge and skills of medical doctors in contrast to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council syllabus. The study recommends a curricular reform in undergraduate medical training in Pakistan for including professionalism training and its assessment.

Key words: Professionalism, Attitudes, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC), Focus group interview (FGI)

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