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Developing professionalism in Italian medical students: an educational framework

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Fabrizio Consorti, Mariagiovanna Notarangelo, Laura Potasso, Emanuele ToscanoDepartment of Surgical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University Sapienza of Rome, Rome, ItalyAbstract: Developing and assessing professionalism in medical students is an international challenge. This paper, based on preliminary research at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry of the University Sapienza of Rome, Italy, briefly summarizes the main issues and experiences in developing professionalism among Italian undergraduate medical students. It concludes with a proposed framework suited to the Italian medical curricula. In our educational system, professionalism is defined as the context of medical expertise, the combination of rules, conditions, and meanings in which the act of health care occurs, as well as the ability of critical reflection on technical expertise. It is a multidimensional construct of ethical, sociocultural, relational, and epistemological competencies, requiring a wide range of tools for assessment. With reference to Italian versions of validated tools of measure, vignettes, videos, and a student's portfolio of reflective writings, this paper outlines the manner in which education for professionalism is embedded in the existing curriculum and overall framework of assessment.Keywords: professionalism, undergraduate medical education, tools for assessment

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