Medical professionalism: What does the public think?

Madawa Chandratilake, Sean McAleer, John Gibson, Sue Roff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    In the context of professionalism being viewed increasingly as a social contract, a survey was conducted to investigate the importance placed by the general public on doctors' professional attributes. A quota sample of 953 responded to a 55-item online inventory of professional attributes. The quotas closely represented the national census. The majority of the highly important attributes focused on the relationship with patients. Statistically, the responses emerged as a three-facet model (clinicianship, workmanship and citizenship) of medical professionalism. The general public did not equate professionalism with social standing, wealth production, physique or appearance. They recognised doctors as professionals by their good behaviour, high values and positive attitudes as clinicians, workmen and citizens. Although, their preference of professional attributes varied with the setting, eg patient consultation, working with others and behaving in society, they expected doctors to be confident, reliable, dependable, composed, accountable and dedicated across all settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)364-369
    Number of pages6
    JournalClinical Medicine - Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010


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