An evaluation of self perceived professionalism among health professions’ students

Syed Imran Ahmed, Lai Kai Lin, Jenny Chong Siew Ing, Syed Shahzad Hasan, Mudassir Anwar, Muneer Gohar Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The modern healthcare practice has made it imperative to involve patients at all levels of decision making; this shift has made professionalism as one of the core values to be inculcated in future healthcare professionals. Within the context, this study aimed to investigate ‘self-perceived professionalism’ among future health professionals. The study population comprised of students from four healthcare professional programmes, i.e. Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Nursing; at one of the pioneer private medical institutions in the country. The authors carried out a cross sectional study using a self-administered validated Professionalism Assessment tool, to assess thirteen attributes of professionalism on a five-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not important at all) to 5 (absolutely essential). Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data, using the SPSS version 22 with a p-value ≤ 0.05 as the level of significance. A total of 856 students from a sample size of 1,050 accepted (81.5%) and successfully completed the questionnaire. Among these, 278 (32.4%) medical, 171 (20.0%) dental, 183 (21.4%) nursing, and 224 (26.2%) were pharmacy students. Based on the total professionalism scores, nursing students were ranked highest, showing highest level of perceived professionalism (mean: 221.9, SD: 21.9). Among various professionalism attributes, confidentiality, competence, communication, and shared decision making were ranked most important attributes to be taught in the students’ curriculum. Based on the findings, there were differences and gaps highlighted between various health professions’ students with regards to some essential attributes. This suggests that there is a need to address issues related to developing professionalism during students’ training, and exposure to real life experiential learning could facilitate this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-405
Number of pages10
JournalPharmacy Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2019


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