Implementation of Different Initiatives to Develop a Culture of Professionalism in the Medical School

Enith Rivera, Ramonita Correa


Different initiatives have been implemented in the Professionalism Program of the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine to develop in the students a culture of professionalism and to promote moral, ethical, altruistic, and humanistic values. The Program was incorporated into the curriculum with the fusion of medical ethics, public health, legal medicine, and the history of medicine. The principal objective of the present study is to evaluate the implemented initiatives of the Professionalism Program which begins during the first year with the White Coat Ceremony, and culminates at graduation with a Humana Award given to the graduate that develops the highest degree of professionalism. The implemented initiatives were evaluated with a final written exam, and an assessment using an anonymous questionnaire. The median course grades for first and second year students were 92 and 94 percent respectively. In terms of the assessment, both groups in medical ethics demonstrated that they had acquired 92 percent of the competencies. The topics discussed in public health helped both groups to see the patients as a biopsychosocial entity; in legal medicine the first year group acquired 95% of competencies, while the second year achieved only 76 percent; regarding history of medicine both groups agreed that it is relevant in their career. Based on the results of the assessment, and grades obtained through written examination and other evaluation tools, it can be concluded that the initiatives of the Professionalism Program have been beneficial to the students in developing a culture of professionalism.

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