1 Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Clinical Sciences Department, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
Medical professionalism is a multi-dimensional construct that is viewed differently across institutions. Such variations might be related to diverse cultural and societal characteristics of learners and faculty.
This study determined whether differences exist between proposed sanctions for a one-time academic integrity infraction associated with unprofessional behaviors. We selected four medical schools with either single-gender or co-educational learning environments in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The 34-statement Dundee Polyprofessionalism Inventory I was disseminated to all medical students across years in selected institutions. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were conducted, and median scores were used to determine the respondents’ proposed sanctions.
Of the 1941 invitees, 1313 students responded (response rate of 68%). Significant similarity, as recorded by median sanction scores was recorded for 21 (62%) of the 34 inventory items from two medical schools. However, significant differences of one level of difference between all the median sanction scores for single-gender and co-educational students were found for 32% of inventory items. In co-educational schools, males were stricter than females for 9% and seniors were stricter than juniors for 12% of the inventory items. In contrast, in single-gender schools, females were stricter than males for only 6% of the inventory and seniors were more lenient than juniors for another 6% of the inventory.
This study reports significant congruence and some differences in medical students’ perceptions of unprofessional behaviors. Educators are urged to develop a unified framework for enforcing sanctions to unprofessional behaviors.
Keywords: Dundee polyprofessionalism, Medical professionalism, Cultural characteristics, Gulf cooperation council countries, Unprofessional behaviors, Co-education.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Clinical Sciences Department, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE; Tel: 0097165057271; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org