Truth Told in Jest? Professional Value Confessions at the End of a Medical Curriculum

Grom, I., Crawford, L. and Pope, L. (2020) Truth Told in Jest? Professional Value Confessions at the End of a Medical Curriculum. 13th Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference, 25 Aug 2020.

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


Introduction: During week 1 of medical school, we ask the first year students “What makes a good doctor?” Collectively they generate a list of attributes subsquently used in small group Professionalism teaching. In 2019, for the first time, we asked the 5th year students the same question to see how their recognition, and understanding, of professional values had changed. Methods: The list of attributes generated in 2015, when the students were in 1st year, was retrieved and a new list was collated in 2019, when the cohort were in final year. Analysis for similarities and differences, that may throw light on our professionalism teaching and impact of the medical curriculum was undertaken. Results/Discussion: We had been expecting a comprehensive list of professionalism attributes that more fully reflected key professionalism documents (1, 2). Conventional attributes did develop over the 5 years, however, analysis revealed many surprising “attributes” e.g. “a robust ovarian reserve” “cute placement clothes”,*. There was concordance with 31 values between 1st and 5th year but 17 attributes did not survive to final year. The manner of anonymous data collection used might encourage more freedom of expression than conventional methods.The findings may also be an expression of student stress or the impact of the ‘hidden’ curriculum? Further exploration through focus groups would be of interest. Conclusion: Were these uncoventional findings a one-off expression of student feelings in jest or do they reveal on-going tensions that require to be addressed? Why did imminent graduates not identify a full range of professional values?

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Grom, Dr Iain and Pope, Professor Lindsey and Crawford, Dr Lynsay
Authors: Grom, I., Crawford, L., and Pope, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record