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Podiatric Medical Students’ Perceptions of Professionalism in the Clinical Setting

A Qualitative Analysis

Nancy L. Parsley DPM, MHPE1 and Ilene B. Harris PhD2
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  • 1 Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Chicago, IL.
  • | 2 University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, Chicago, IL.
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Background:

The teaching and assessment of professionalism have become central areas of research and practice in medicine and in allopathic and osteopathic undergraduate and graduate medical education generally. In contrast, discussion of professionalism as it relates to podiatric medical education is nearly nonexistent in the literature.

Methods:

A study of podiatric medical students’ perceptions of professionalism-related issues in the clinical setting was performed using a qualitative analysis. A written survey was sent to 88 students who had recently completed their clinical training experiences. The survey was completed anonymously, and all identifying information was redacted before analysis of the data, which was performed using thematic content analysis with constant comparative analysis. In addition, basic demographic information was acquired as part of the data collection process.

Results:

Sixty-six students (75%) responded and agreed to participate in the survey. Students provided written reports of lapses in professional behavior that they had witnessed, heard about, or been personally involved in performing. The study confirmed that podiatric medical students had experienced various types of professional lapses in behavior, and six predominant themes were identified.

Conclusions:

This study, which was performed with a selected group of individuals at a single institution, serves as an initial assessment of the needs of podiatric medical students and will be useful for developing professionalism-related instructional activities that could benefit students in the future. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(6): 434–445, 2012)

Corresponding author: Nancy L. Parsley, DPM, MHPE, Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Rd, North Chicago, IL 60064. (E-mail: nancy.parsley@rosalindfranklin.edu)