Objective: To determine the proposed level of sanctions by the students and the staff for professionalism lapses related to academic integrity in two Pakistani medical colleges.
Study Design: Cross sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Private Medical Colleges in the year 2013.
Material and Methods: A stratified sample of 520 students, and 60 faculty members were invited to participate in this cross sectional study. A validated and customized version of Dundee Poly-professional Inventory–1 for use in Pakistani medical schools was used. The students were asked to indicate the appropriate level of sanctions (1-10) that should apply for the first time offence without circumstances that lessen the gravity of the offence.
Results: The response rate of students and faculty was 92%, and 62% respectively. There was statistically significant difference between the students and the faculty (p<0.05) in recommended severity of punishment for 31 (68%) offences. Students considered that no punishment should be given for completing work for another student; accessing not permitted old exam papers or course work to assist in study; and photographing dissection or pro-section or cadaver material, whereas faculty thought these behaviors were punishable. They were stricter on recommended sanction for drinking alcohol over lunch and interviewing a patient in afternoon, by two levels. The faculty was more severe on punishments by at least one level for rest of the unprofessional behaviors.
Conclusion: Pakistani faculty perceived the majority of behaviors more severely as compared to the students. Dundee Poly Professionalism Inventory-I can be used in Pakistan, and other South Asian countries to measure perceptions of severity of unprofessional behaviors related to academic integrity, that can help in forming code of conduct.
Keywords : Academic integrity, Professionalism, Sanctions.