Silent Witnesses

Faculty Reluctance to Report Medical Students' Professionalism Lapses

Deborah Ziring, Richard Frankel, Deborah Danoff, J. Harry Isaacson, Heather Lochnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE: Assessing students' professionalism is a critical component of medical education. Nonetheless, faculty reluctance to report professionalism lapses remains a significant barrier to the effective identification, management, and remediation of such lapses. The authors gathered information from faculty who supervise medical students to better understand their perceived barriers to reporting.

METHOD: In 2015-2016, data were collected using a group concept mapping methodology, which is an innovative, asynchronous, structured mixed-methods approach using qualitative and quantitative measures to identify themes characterizing faculty reluctance to report professionalism lapses. Participants from four U.S. and Canadian medical schools brainstormed, sorted, and rated statements about perceived barriers to reporting. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses were used to analyze these data.

RESULTS: Of 431 physicians invited, 184 con-tributed to the brainstorming task (42.7%), 48 completed the sorting task (11.1%), and 83 completed the rating task (19.3%). Participants identified six barriers or themes to reporting lapses. The themes "uncertainty about the process," "ambiguity about the 'facts,'" "effects on the learner," and "time constraints" were rated highest as perceived barriers. Demographic subgroup analysis by gender, years of experience supervising medical students, years since graduation, and practice discipline revealed no significant differences (P > .05).

CONCLUSIONS: The decision to report medical students' professionalism lapses is more complex and nuanced than a binary choice to report or not. Faculty face challenges at the systems level and individual level. The themes identified in this study can be used for faculty development and to improve processes for reporting students' professionalism lapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1700-1706
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Volume93
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

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witness
medical student
multidimensional scaling
student
rating
physician
professionalism
uncertainty
gender
methodology
management
school
education
experience
Group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

Silent Witnesses : Faculty Reluctance to Report Medical Students' Professionalism Lapses. / Ziring, Deborah; Frankel, Richard; Danoff, Deborah; Isaacson, J. Harry; Lochnan, Heather.

In: Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Vol. 93, No. 11, 01.11.2018, p. 1700-1706.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ziring, Deborah ; Frankel, Richard ; Danoff, Deborah ; Isaacson, J. Harry ; Lochnan, Heather. / Silent Witnesses : Faculty Reluctance to Report Medical Students' Professionalism Lapses. In: Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. 2018 ; Vol. 93, No. 11. pp. 1700-1706.
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