Introduction: Professionalism is a multidimensional concept but there· are fundamental elements of professionalism which are unique for all professions and are the aspects of humanism. Medical professionalism is at the top of discussion woelddwide. The objective of this study was to investigate professionalism of UKM medical students.
Methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted on 323 students, selected by stratified random sampling from year 1-5 of academic session 2010-2011. Data was collected using a validated instrument which contained nine core humanistic elements of professionalism such as honesty, accountabiiity, communication etc. with four open-ended questions. There were a range of items under each element, measured by a 5-point Likert scale; the internal consistency of the instrument was adequate.
Results: The sample constituted 18% by 1'' year students while subsequent years constituted 17%, 23%, 23%, and 19% respectively. Total males were 37% while females ·were 63%. Out of total 220 scores, mean professionalism scores of students was 173.5, where female contributed 174 and male contributed 173. There· was no significant difference of professionalism between gender (p = 0.458) and year of study (p = 0.210. Nevertheless, 10% respondents- were unaware of professionalism. Professionalism development through formal education although is now heavily recognizcd, this study-results prioritized experience and role modeling in teaching-learning of professionalism.
Conclusion: Lack of focus is a challenge to develop student-professionalism. Educators need to address fundamental elements of professionalism with simplicity and specificity. Professionalism assessment on fundamental elements is also necessary among all future professional-students for public good and to become responsible scientific literate citizens.