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The Medical Professionalism Blog

Recommended Reading: January 11 – 18

The articles featured in this week’s Recommended Reading focus on identifying and addressing unprofessional behavior among physicians:

  • Researchers recently presented vignettes of unprofessional online behavior to state medical boards to assess the likelihood that these behaviors would result in a state board investigation. Four of the vignettes had a high rate of consensus that the behavior would lead to an investigation, three had moderate consensus, and three had low consensus. The authors concluded that greater physician awareness of acceptable and unacceptable online behaviors could improve online professionalism and reduce state board investigations.
  • A Medical Education editorial (requires subscription) highlights the importance of the “hidden curriculum” in shaping medical students’ professionalism. As the author states, “The values students absorb are those modeled by their teachers and colleagues, whether these comply with institutional mission statements, goals and codes of conduct or not.”
  • In Analysing the hidden curriculum: use of a cultural web (also in Medical Education, requires subscription), researchers conducted focus groups with medical school students and staff to assess the school’s hidden curriculum using a “cultural web,” a framework for assessing an organizational environment. The cultural web framework helped the participants identify a number of key elements of the institution’s hidden curriculum.

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