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

Article


Hurwitz, Steven, Kelly, Brian, Powis, David, 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. https://doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2013.770130
Article Title

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

ERA Journal ID13709
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsHurwitz, Steven (Author), Kelly, Brian (Author), Powis, David (Author), Smyth, Robyn (Author) and Lewin, Terry (Author)
Journal TitleMedical Teacher
Journal Citation35 (7), pp. 1332-1339
Number of Pages8
Year2013
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
ISSN0142-159X
1466-187X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2013.770130
Web Address (URL)http://informahealthcare.com/doi/pdfplus/10.3109/0142159X.2013.770130
Abstract

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
qualities.
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
students.
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.

Keywordsmedical education; predictors of student success; personality; scale analysis
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390303. Higher education
470108. Organisational, interpersonal and intercultural communication
390110. Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Newcastle
Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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