Professionalism: Self-Control Matters

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Background:Many of the behaviors that constitute professionalism require self-control. Aim:To investigate the extent to which self-control is a component of resident professionalism, rated both by residents and their program directors. Methods:366 residents in 13 residency programs were invited to participate in a survey study of professionalism. Participating residents completed the Professionalism - Documentation of Competence (ProDOC) (a 15-item measure of professionalism developed for the study), a 10-item version of the MarloweCrowne Social Desirability Scale, and the Brief Self-Control Scale. Independently, program directors of participating residents completed the ProDOC with reference to each of their participating residents. Results:215 residents agreed to participate in the study (58.7% response rate). Resident ProDOC scores were significantly related to social desirability and self-control. Self-control alone accounted for approximately 25% of the variance in resident ProDOC scores, and approximately 17% of the variance in ProDOC scores when shared variance with social desirability was controlled. There was no correlation between resident and program director ProDOC scores. Conclusions:Self-control is an important facet of human behavior and interpersonal interaction, including the behaviors that constitute medical professionalism. The lack of correlation between residents' self-ratings of professionalism and their program directors' ratings underscores the difficulty in understanding and measuring this competency. © 2010 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved.



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