Assessment of professionalism within dental education: A review of studies

University essay from Malmö högskola/Odontologiska fakulteten (OD)

Abstract: Assessment of professionalism is a concept which has been highlighted during the last ten years. High demands from the public and from authorities combined with an increased educational interest for the concept of professionalism has led to a greater focus on ways of implementing and assessing professionalism in dental, medical and other professional educations. Many authors point out that professionalism is an essential competence, but there is a lack of and a need for a definition of professionalism within dentistry and dental education. It is recognised that professionalism is a broad concept, which calls for different methods of assessments. The aim of this paper is to identify and describe different methods of assessing professionalism within dental education and to categorise them into a blueprint. The studies are discussed out of the perspective of validity and reliability and the methods of assessment are compared to different levels of Miller’s pyramid. Literature is sparse and a mere 16 articles were found to fit the purpose of this paper. Most studies used a traditional way of assessing professionalism, even though research has shown that this way is neither sufficient nor suitable. More research is needed and the methods for assessment need to be further explored. Validity and reliability need to be put in focus, since no method of assessment has proven to be both valid and reliable.

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