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Male students less aware of professional behaviour, GMC survey suggests

20 May 2015

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Male medical students are more likely to see unprofessional behaviour as acceptable, research suggests.

More than 2,500 UK medical students took part in a General Medical Council (GMC) survey containing questions on professional values. Women and graduates tended to be more likely to view the unprofessional or less professional behaviours as unacceptable or mostly unacceptable than men and school leavers.

BMA medical students committee co-chair Harrison Carter said: “Professionalism is the keystone of being a good doctor and good professional behaviour means that decisions are made with integrity. Medical students as future doctors must be aware of how to act in a professional manner and medical schools should be encouraging this from year one.”

The GMC report, Student professionalism: our survey of medical students, stated: “Across most of the questions, women were more likely than men to regard the unprofessional (or less professional) behaviours as unacceptable. For example 54% of female students think it is unacceptable to go back to a patient’s house for coffee compared with 42% of male students. Women were also statistically significantly more likely to regard discussing patient examination details in public as unacceptable than men.”