Professionalism should be a critical part of medical training

Professionalism needs to be promoted as a critical and integral part of medical education and training, a major report has concluded.

The report, jointly published by six organisations, including the GMC, the Royal College of Physicians and the King’s Fund, said medical schools have a crucial role to play in making clear the standards of behaviour expected by their students.

It comes as the GMC's national training surveys, released earlier this month, highlighted concerns within GP training.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said the GMC will continue to work closely with Postgraduate Deaneries and the NHS to find effective solutions where there are specific serious concerns.

The report said while there is 'no magic bullet’ for teaching and learning professionalism, it recommended that formal teaching is ‘heavily supplemented’ by opportunities for students to learn from role models and experienced colleagues.

It said: ‘Some students described the importance of observation, particularly when they were on placements with GPs. Generally, it was thought to be easier to take in lessons about professionalism when it could be more immediately applied, i.e. on clinical rotations.’

The report also said preparation for management and leadership roles should start at an early stage.

It said: ‘Acquiring management responsibilities and assuming leadership roles is not, and should not be, a watershed moment that a doctor suddenly reaches on becoming a consultant or a GP principal.’

The report said there is scope for medical schools to provide opportunities for students to develop leadership and teamworking skills.

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