The desirable qualities of future doctors: a study of medical student perceptions

Hurwitz, Steven and Kelly, Brian and Powis, David and Smyth, Robyn and Lewin, Terry (2013) The desirable qualities of future doctors: a study of medical student perceptions. Medical Teacher, 35 (7). pp. 1332-1339. ISSN 0142-159X


Background: There is a lack of consensus regarding the qualities possessed by the ideal doctor, and very limited research regarding the views of medical students on these
Aims: To investigate the views of commencing medical students regarding the desirable qualities of doctors
Methods: A survey containing a set of proposed desirable qualities of doctors identified from the existing literature was completed by 158 first year medical
Results: The survey had a 75% response rate. Students rated the individual qualities of empathy, motivation to be a doctor, good verbal communication, ethically sound,
integrity and honesty as the most important. A factor analysis identified six categories of qualities: Methodical Processing, Cognitive Capacity, People Skills, Generic Work
Ethic, Role Certainty and Warmth. Significant differences in factor scores were found across subgroups of students (international and domestic students, with and without
prior tertiary studies) on the following factors: Methodical Processing, which was scored highest by domestic students with prior tertiary studies, Cognitive Capacity,
which was scored highest by domestic students without prior tertiary studies and Generic Work Ethic, which was scored highest by international students.
Conclusions: Medical students identified a range of desirable personal qualities of a doctor which varied according to student characteristics, including their prior
educational experience. Future research aiming to define such desirable qualities should include a broader range of stakeholders, including students at different training
levels and institutions.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
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Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2013 05:30
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2018 05:13
Uncontrolled Keywords: medical education; predictors of student success; personality; scale analysis
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4701 Communication and media studies > 470108 Organisational, interpersonal and intercultural communication
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390110 Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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