Korean J Med Educ.  2008 Mar;20(1):23-35.

Medical Students' Self Assessment on Medical Professionalism

  • 1Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. skim@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Education, College of Sciences in Education, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.


Medical professionalism has become a very popular theme in medical education since 2000. Despite the high interest, not alot of variety of studies have been done. In particular, it is very difficult to find a study focusing on the professionalism level of medical students; and none exists in Korea. The purpose of this study is to examine the level of medical professionalism in medical students and the differences between the academic years. METHODS: Of the 41 medical schools in Korea, eight were sampled randomly. From these, 2,590 medical students were finally chosen for the survey. Independent t-test and one-way Anova were used to analyse the differences between the academic years. RESULTS: The level of medical professionalism (medical knowledge, skills and attitude) of premedical students and medical students all appeared to be below average or average. For premedical students, differences were seen in 'professional knowledge' but still at a below average level. By graduation, medical students showed an overall increase in all three domains of medical professionalism, especially in 'professional attitude'. Their scores, however, did not reach more than average. CONCLUSION: There are specific areas of weaknesses in medical professionalism in students; and as their level of professionalism was not satisfactory even by the time of graduation, medical educators need to reconsider the present medical professionalism curriculum and investigate ways to improve the level of medical professionalism in medical students.


Medical Professionalism; Medical Students; Professionalism Level
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