Importance of faculty role modelling for teaching professionalism to medical students: Individual versus institutional responsibility

Adeela Bashir (Lead / Corresponding author), Irene J. McTaggart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: This study explores the perceptions of final year medical students and clinical faculty with regard to role modelling in teaching professionalism.

Methods: In this qualitative research design, we used the Constructivist Grounded Theory model. Six semi-structured interviews with faculty from six clinical specialties and three focus group discussions with 22 final year students were conducted. We applied initial, focused and selective coding along with a thematic analysis of the subject to develop a core category. This is the first part of a larger study that addresses the impact of positive role modelling on teaching professionalism. Findings relevant to negative role modelling are being reported in a subsequent paper.

Results: The results showed consensus that positive role modelling is the most important strategy for teaching professionalism to medical students. A disturbing finding was a perceived deteriorating level of inspirational positive role modelling. A lack of institutional support and weak regulatory control were pointed out as potential factors contributing towards this deterioration.

Conclusion: Positive role modelling was found to be the most effective way to teach professionalism to medical students. However, it cannot be truly effective unless institutions play their role which is pivotal in promoting a culture of professionalism. This can be materialized by recognizing and facilitating conscientious and explicit role modelling by the medical faculty. In addition, an effective regulatory control by the concerned authorities could play an important role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Taibah University Medical Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2022


  • Clinical faculty
  • Medical students
  • Professionalism
  • Role modelling
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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