Professionalism in teaching

In Achieving good medical practice, we say that students’ behaviour must justify the confidence that patients and the public place on future members of the medical profession. We also say that we and medical schools will support students in their journey to becoming a doctor, including in the teaching and assessing of professionalism.

But how is professional behaviour taught at medical school? And what are the best ways to teach professionalism to medical students? We collaborated with The Point of Care Foundation, who produced 10 recommendations for how this could be done.

The Point of Care Foundation is a non-profit organisation which works to humanise healthcare for patients and the staff who care for them. The Point of Care Foundation trains and supports the people who facilitate the discussion in Schwartz Rounds.

These recommendations have been co-produced with medical students and teachers of professionalism. The Point of Care Foundation carried out research with all medical schools in the UK to inform the recommendations and determine how professionalism is currently taught. They also conducted qualitative interviews with medical students.

The co-production workshop highlighted a number of examples of good practice and a series of key principles, for the teaching of professionalism, which are summarised here as the Point of Care Foundation’s recommendations.