International journal of medical education 2016 Oct 147() 333-339 pii 10.5116/ijme.57eb.cca2
To determine which professional and humanistic attributes demonstrated by teachers in the health disciplines caused them to be perceived by students as positive or negative role models.
Quantitative empirical data were gathered using a self-administered questionnaire by graduating students in medical, dentistry, and pharmacy schools at Kerman University of Medical Sciences. A total of 3 graduating cohorts, comprising about 220 students, were selected for this study. Surveys were distributed during January-March 2013.
In total, 183 students participated in the study. Altogether, students considered 504 and 473 academic staff as positive and negative role models (PRMs and NRMs), respectively. Women were considered more negatively than men (mean scores: -12.13 vs. -11.6, p=0.04). While clinicians were considered more positively than basic scientists (mean scores: 12.65 vs. 10.67, p=0.001), dentists received higher positive scores than physicians or pharmacists (average scores: 13.27 vs. 12.99 and 9.82). There was a significant relationship between the personality of the students and the overall characteristics of their perceived role models (β for PRMs=0.35, p<0.0001; and β for NRMs= 0.20, p= 0.039). Conclusions
Humanistic and professional attributes were proposed as major components of personal traits in perceived role models. Demonstration of humanistic attributes by teachers was strongly correlated with the students’ perception of the role models. It is suggested that the role of humanistic and professional attributes should be highlighted across medical disciplines in an effort to develop or improve role modelling by academic staff.