Development of a physician attributes database as a resource for medical education, professionalism and student evaluation

David Rabinowitz*, Shmuel Reis, Riki Van Raalte, Gideon Alroy, Rosalie Ber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the light of the growing interest in professionalism and non-cognitive attributes in medical education, a focus group (FG) methodology was used to achieve a database of desired physician attributes. Ten FGs, consisting of medical faculty, service heads, residents, general practitioners, students and patients, took place, producing 169 desired attributes; further attributes were derived from a literature search, and the Mission and Vision Statement (MVS) of the authors' medical faculty. A total of 254 separate attributes finally emerged, after a process of combining and collapsing similar items. Attributes appearing with the highest frequency were: honest, empathic, patients, capacity to be an attentive listener, understanding, able to work in a team, intellectua curiosity, egalitarian. The high number of attributes generated in this study provides an indication of what the profession is wanting of itself. This database is multipotential and preliminary in nature and requires further processing before achieving full relevance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by the ‘Consejerı́a de Educación y Cultura’ of the Castilla and León Community, Spain, (BU07/97) and the ‘Vicerectorado de Investigación y Relaciones Internacionales’ of the University of Burgos, Spain. Y.G.S. and M.L.S. also acknowledge the financial assistance from the ‘Comision Interministerial de Ciencias y Tecnologia’ of Spain through the grant no. PB 96-0882.


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