BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Professionalism has a number of culturally specific elements, therefore, it is imperative to identify areas of congruence and variations in the behaviors in which professionalism is understood in different countries. This study aimed to explore and compare the recommendation of sanctions by medical students of College of Medicine, King Saud University (KSU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and students from three medical colleges in Egypt.
METHODS: The responses were recorded using an anonymous, self-administered survey " Dundee Polyprofessionalism Inventory I: Academic Integrity". In the study 750 medical students of College of Medicine, KSU, Riyadh were invited and a questionnaire was electronically sent. They rated the importance of professionalism lapses by choosing from a hierarchical menu of sanctions for first time lapses with no justifying circumstances. These responses were compared with published data from 219 students from three medical schools in Egypt.
RESULTS: We found variance for 23 (76.66%) behaviors such as "physically assaulting a university employee or student" and "plagiarizing work from a fellow student or publications/internet". We also found similarities for 7 (23.33%) behaviors including "lack of punctuality for classes" and drinking alcohol over lunch and interviewing a patient in the afternoon", when comparing the median recommended sanctions from medical students in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
CONCLUSION: There are more variances than congruence regarding perceptions of professionalism between the two cohorts. The students at KSU were also found to recommend the sanction of "ignore" for a behavior, a response, which otherwise was absent from Egyptian cohort.
- Recommended Sanctions