MEDICAL PRFESSIONALISM: COMPARING VIEWS OF PUBLIC AND DOCTORS
Objective: To compare the views of public and doctors about importance of attributes of medical professionalism.
Study Design: cross-sectional comparative study.
Place and Duration of Study: Study was carried out at Fauji Foundation Hospital Rawalpindi from Oct 2019 to Mar 2020.
Methodology: Study included 115 public participants and 115 doctors. Their perceptions about the importance of different attributes of medical professionalism were recorded on a structured questionnaire by rating on a 5-point Likert scale of importance. Independent samples t-test was used to compare the mean scores of the public group to the mean scores of the doctors for every attribute.
Results: View of public and doctors were very similar. “Honesty and integrity, sound judgment and decision making, responsible behavior, confidentiality, professional development, abiding professional rules, and being reliable” were ranked among the top ten important attributes by both groups. On the other extreme “maintaining a high standard of living” was ranked at the bottom of list by both groups. Significant differences in views of public and doctors were found regarding attributes of social justice among doctors (4.4 vs 4.09, p=0.012) and among patients (4.43 vs 4.09, p=0.05) and autonomy (4.42 vs 4.2; p=0.042).
Conclusion: The opinions of public and doctors on what constitutes medical professionalism are similar with integrity and honesty being the most important attribute and to maintain a high standard of living being the least important attribute.