Thinking about professionalism

Questions about how to develop and apply professionalism in the health care system getting more attention recently in the higher education. at the same time, challenges are present in both teaching and practice (Swick et al. 1999). According to Mason et al (2016), continues evaluation through out the curriculum is necessary way to monitor and identify the gap between teaching and practicing professionalism in medical education. The situation for us as a physiotherapist is that we are aiming to behave in a professional way linked to our the ethics, law, and framework set in our countries. The important question for me as a physiotherapist is how much this ethic, law, and framework linked globally. different socioeconomic and political facts can control the link. In sometimes, this control itself can be a challenge (Mason et al, 2016). Generally, terms like honesty, empathy, responsibility, and confidentiality most be identified clearly to the student in order giving him a clear view of what expected from him during physiotherapy practice. In other words, professionalism will help us in identifying the qualities, skills, and behavior expected from us in the practice setting.


Mason, R., Vitkovitch, J., Lambert, R., & Jepson, J. (2016). Knowing about and performing professionalism: Developing professionalism in interprofessional healthcare education. International Journal of Practice-Based Learning in Health and Social care, 2(1), 96-107.
Swick, H. M., Szenas, P., Danoff, D., & Whitcomb, M. E. (1999). Teaching professionalism in undergraduate medical education. Jama, 282(9), 830-832.

4 Replies to “Thinking about professionalism”

  1. Dear Hassan

    Thanks for your post and also for pointing out that article by Mason, which I’ve just downloaded 🙂

    I like your idea of looking at ethics, law and guidelines across international boundaries in a global context. We sometimes forget that others may not see the world in the same way that we do. Do you have any ideas about how to get students to think differently about ethics and moral ideas, especially when we often work inside our own “bubbles” where we’re not exposed to different ideas. Do you think there is a responsibility for lecturers to introduce sometimes difficult ideas into the classroom, so that students can learn about other perspectives in a safe environment? How do undergraduate students in your department learn about ethics and international perspectives?


  2. Dear Michael.
    This project experience is the way that our students see other prospecives (internet learning). Am not sure if another way used before to achieve this as well as if the other prospectives are in our agenda. Our role as a lecturers is how to motivate and guide students. Another important role is integrating this in the course curriculum.


  3. I think that in the current higher education context we as academics are almost compelled to introduce different perspectives into the classroom not only internationally but focused on the local context as well especially in countries where we are face with so much diversity


  4. I think that exposing students to different perspectives is one of the most powerful ways to get them to think differently about their own local situation. It’s all very well to say that people do things differently in other places but it’s only when you really get to see and hear about those experiences that it sinks in. I always think about my own learning and how it’s most effective when I talk to others.

    There’s a lot of interest in “internationalisation” of physiotherapy programmes and getting students from different countries (or even from within the same country) to share experiences and responses to those experiences, may be a very useful way for them to learn. I think this is even more true when you don’t necessarily have all of the experience in your own programme. With the internet, it’s getting easier to bring expertise and experience into other programmes where they may be lacking.


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